Product Review of SweetSearch2Day
SweetSearch2Day is a social studies reference site offering learning resources, many of which are articles with a “this day in history” theme. The six sections on the site include:
- Netcetera: Curated lists of resources for learning about things like country or state names
- 2Day in History: Short articles about important events related to a day or week
- 2Day’s Biographies: Articles and collections of student-facing resources about notable people
- Web Guides: Resources to help guide learners‘ research on social studies topics
- Research Skills: Tips and ideas for improving student research abilities
- Changing the World: Articles about student efforts to change the world
In style and depth, the content is intended for learners in elementary through middle school; however, in rigor and variety, it varies greatly from section to section.
Because SweetSearch2Day isn’t updated regularly, its learning value varies. Teachers and learners might find resources to help them investigate social studies topics or build content-area knowledge, or they may find nothing new. Content quality may also be an issue. For instance, a quick read-through of the 2Day in History entry for Wangari Muta Maathai — the Nobel Prize winner behind the Green Belt initiative — mentions the 2002 Kenyan election as “the country’s first democratic elections.” This lacks some nuance, since Kenya had democratic elections prior to 2002, but they weren’t thought of as completely uncorrupt. Of course, this is a small thing — and just one article — but it does mean educators should help learners do a bit more digging on the information they find on SweetSearch2Day. Even so, the site’s example content might be a jumping-off point for a whole-class project where learners write their own articles about historical figures or events that coincide with a specific day or week.
Also, if learners do find something on the site that they wish to research further, the search engine built into the site is hosted by SweetSearch2Day’s companion site, SweetSearch. This is a customized search engine designed for learners, and it offers more robust resources.
SweetSearch2Day could be an amazing resource for teachers, but without daily (or even weekly) updates — which a lot of the sections are meant to offer — it’ll be challenging to implement. Moreover, the idea of social studies research guides — curated lists of resources on specific topics — would be a teacher’s dream. Unfortunately, the Web Guides section, like much of the the site, feels like it’s in draft form. That is, there’s a good idea there with an initial small batch of content but not a large enough library to serve every teacher’s needs. Some sections even have dead links or lead to less rigorous sources. New content does come sporadically, so there’s a chance you’ll find something relevant, but you won’t be able to depend on SweetSearch2Day as, for instance, a weekly foundation for class discussion.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The content is solid and interesting, but it isn’t updated frequently enough to sustain learners‘ attention.
Curriculum and Instruction
This is a great, useful idea for a learning tool, but it falls short due to a lack of reliable, updated resources. The resources that are there are digestible but require critical reading.
The site features a clean, focused design. Keyboard-based browsing is possible, but the cursor is hidden when jumping between links.