Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Search Google by Reading Level

Google has developed a powerful new search feature that students and teachers will benefit from. You now have the ability to search by reading level. Google classifies search results by basic, intermediate and advanced reading level. You can choose to only view one of the levels in your result or view all of them with an annotation identifying the level next to each.

Finding, managing and qualifying information found online is a complicated task for students to manage. It is however one of the most important skills that a student can develop in the digital age. Many elementary teachers struggle keeping students on task when searching online.  Many times i am asked how do we convince students to narrow their search results and not just trust the first 3 or 5 results that are returned on a search.  By teaching students how to narrow down search results to a reading level that is appropriate for them we provide them with results that are manageable.  When students can  make sense of the materials they are finding th

ey are more likely to look at it more critically. They will also find more relevant results on the first page of results.

To utilize this new feature you must go to http://www.google.com and click on Advanced Search next to the search bar.

Once inside the advanced search menu you will see ?a drop down for reading level. From there you can select only one level or the option to view all results with the reading level annotated.

In my example I am searching for "the civil war" After i select  "annotate results with reading level" I click the advanced search button. My search results are displayed.  There is a bar graph that displays the number of results by reading level. If you click on the reading level in the bar chart, Google will only display results with that reading level. You will also notice that each search result has its corresponding reading level written next to it.

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