AOL launches StudyBuddy.com

Educational search garden features Blinkx's multimedia-savvy search engine, "backpacks" and age-appropriate searching.

When AOL isn't busy releasing everyone's search queries into the world, it has been buying up companies and building new services, since it's now going to be free on the Web. StudyBuddy.com is one of the new services, with a million or so handpicked links of some educational value. In other words, it's a pleasant little walled garden of websites - without the walls.

AOL partnered with startup search engine Blinkx for the site. Blinkx was chosen because of its strength in multimedia search.

Search results include encyclopedia entries, newspaper articles, book content, audio and video clips, photos and maps and regular Web pages. Students can narrow the list of results by specifying they want to only see those appropriate for a specific grade level: kindergarten through second grade; third to fifth grade; sixth through eighth grade; and high school.

The site also offers students online folders it calls "backpacks" (cute, huh?) where students store information and share it with others.

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