I've seen a few people mentioning the Boolify Project recently so I thought that I'd take a quick peek. It describes itself thus: "Boolify makes it easier for students to understand their web search by illustrating the logic of their search, and by showing them how each change to their search instantly changes their results."
It does this by providing some basic Boolean operators in a jigsaw format, like this:
It's fairly basic in that it doesn't allow the use of (..) and there's no NEAR operator, but to be fair, it's designed as a basic tool, primarily for teaching children the absolute basics I think. You can scroll down to the bottom of the screen at any point to see how your search is progressing real time, though I do have some concerns at this point - my librarians -archivist search returns 2,200,000 results on Boolify, but at Google I end up with some 23,300,000 results. Even taking into account my search is run without any filtering, and Boolify uses safe filtering, that's a really big difference. The six results in Google before the first in Boolify are all perfectly innocent, so I'm not sure exactly how Boolify is filtering their content.
However, it's a nice basic tool, which will do the job that's intended of it. I would like to see a few more advanced features to broaden it's value out to older children, but as it stands, it hits its mark.
There's another useful function on the site however, and one that's easy to miss - 'All sides'. This allows users to type in a specific term and provide comparison results between extremes, such as "good" and "bad" or "postive" and "negative", or categories of your own choosing. An image helps explain what I mean:
Having chosen your 'good/bad' or 'positive/negative' options, the two columns below will give appropriate results - a really nice way to introduce children to the different types of data you can find on Google.
All told Boolify is one of those excellent products that sets out to do something and does so very well indeed. If you're a school librarian or a teacher, or even a parent trying to teach search to your children, this will greatly assist you.