Sunday, 20 March 2011

Google Reading Levels

Searching the web, particularly at the elementary level, has been difficult due to the complexity of text in the search results. Limiting search results to a specific reading level seemed an unreachable request. Until now. Google introduced a new advanced search filter named Reading Levels. In short, Google lets my students filter the search results based on how basic, intermediate or advanced the reading level of the web results.

Click on advanced search and select an option from the "reading level" dropdown menu. For my primary students, the basic reading level allows them to locate results that they can comprehend.

Select the "annotation" option to annotate each result with what Google believes is the reading level, and displays a distribution graph at the top of the results page that allows users to pivot between the levels.

At any time, users can click the X in the right corner of the blue bar beneath the search box to return to viewing all results.

How were the reading levels chosen? By teachers, of course!

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