Tag Archives: texas

A Search Engine With A Readability Index In The Results… Check Out Twurdy!

Let me introduce you to a search engine that give a readability index to the sites it finds. Welcome to this midweek blog from TCEA in Austin, Texas. So far a great conference including the edubloggers unconference today! This Indiana Hoosier has been impressed with all of the awesome people in Texas. Now lets get to that search engine that is a must use tool for students. As always please follow me on Twitter at @mjgormans… I will return the favor and we will learn from one another!  Take a minute to check out the resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Have a great week! – Mike (A 21st Century Hoosier at TCEA in Austin, Texas)

What if a search engine could give you and your students a readability index before going to the site? In fact, what if the report entries were color coded by the readibility factors? It’s time you get introduced to Twurdy! This unique search engine uses custom designed readability software that includes information about the number of words on the page, the average number of syllables in each word, the average sentence length and more to determine a pages readability level. Best of all, it is powered by our friends at Google. With search engines giving millions of results, Twurdy gives that option of sifting through information and finding resources that may match students by reading abilities.

Twurdy supplies the user with three different options. The first option is  Just Twurdy which searches using Twurdy’s basic algorithm with medium speed and medium results.  Next comes Simple Twurdy which  searches the web using Twurdy’s simple algorithm for fast speed but less accurate results. Last is Twurdy with Pop which searches using Twurdy’s most complex algorithm. This formula  includes looking up the popularity of words within the text. It has a slower speed with more accurate results. You will find that Twurdy offers the same search results as other search engines but the color coding and readability index are definetly an added bonus.  Being able to tell whether or not users may be able to understand the content on the page before it is clicked is a unique bonus.  Next time you feel that a search just may bring up words your students might not understand, give Twurdy a Try!

Again, thanks for visiting this midweek post! I hope Twurdy is a resource you find useful! I will do my best to keep networking at TCEA and share what I learn from this collection of outstanding educators in Texas. As always please follow me on Twitter at @mjgormans… I will return the favor and we will learn from one another! Please take a moment to check out the resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  Have a great week! – Mike (A 21st Century Hoosier at TCEA in Austin, Texas)

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Imagine It! Power In Action… Big Ideas For 21st Century Education!

 

I have an inspiring and motivational site to share with you this week. I’m typing as I sit in the  lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas. While I am a far from home Hoosier attending this year’s TCEA conference, I am filled with excitement and a sense of assurance that I will bring to my home state, my PLN, and my blog readers something new. The site I share this week is appropriately called “Imagine It”.  As always follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans) and you are always welcome to visit my 21st centuryedtech Wiki! Through out the week I will be sharing thoughts, ideas, and dreams, from Texas, until then, take a moment to “Imagine It” – Mike

The people at Imagine It have the  awesome mission to inspire people to imagine the world a better place and then get involved to solve global challenges. I see it as a wonderful tool for teachers to help develop twenty-first century skills and implement project based learning in the classroom. Imagine It also holds a lot of potentional for inspirational professional development for educators!   Imagine It  makes such opportunities possible by providing production of multi-platform media content, including documentary series,  film shorts and video clips  to help teachers and students Imagine It!  Such titles as  Global Challenges Need to be Solved , The Need for Innovation is Now,  There’s Power in Big Ideas in Action,  and To Remind You that One Person (that would be you) Can Make a Difference are thought provoking and motivational. I was inspired by the numerous video clips in both of the Post It Challenges. Titles such as Creativity, Change Makers, Connectivity, and Collaboration are perfect for opening up conversations that encourage Twenty-First Century learning.  Listen to experts from the current news page  such as Calestous Juma, Professor – Harvard University, speak about the important role of teachers, Sally Ride,  physicist, astronaut (first American woman in space), with remarks on inspiring students with science, and Gary Stager, Educator & Collaborator at MIT Lab Future of Learning, discussing his hopes for schools of the future. These are just three of the nearly twenty expert presentations you will encounter on  the current news page, also including Chris Wink, co-founder of Blue Man Group, with thoughts on creativity in education.

If you don’t believe watching  is enough, there is a way to get students involved interactively.  How about an introduction to the  online collaborative media console?  This  is really a media editor and tool set that gives  the power to create mixed and mashed-up media.  This tool is an open source application based on the Imagine It  project media library. It  includes pre-mixed video modules, online video editor, remix console and media uploader. Students around the world can create their own video using Imagine It  videos, b-roll, music and graphics along with original videos, interview clips, music and graphics. Take the time to facilitate a mix, match and mash-up a video and see if a student produced video gets distributed on top websites, television or included in the next film Imagine It!³,  the story of unleashing human potential to solve global challenges.

As you visit the site take a look at all of those involved including  an extensive list of organizations, educational institutions, people, and countries. While on that page be sure to click on the things people are saying about Imagine It.  There is also a download page that provides  access to many of the freely available open source materials. Also, review the upcoming calendar of events including the Sundance Festival, National Engineers Week, National Science Teachers’ Association, School Library Month, Project Lead The Way, Teacher Appreciation Week, and National Teacher Day. For a short introduction to the Imagine It Project  take a look at these three short video; START: Join The ConversationImagine It… What Is It?,  and a very short video entitled The New Generation. Take the time to visit this amazing site, incorprate it into the classroom,  and integrate it in educational  professional development. It will allow all educators to creatively infuse those 21st Century Skills and give students, teachers, and administrators the opportunity to Imagine It!

Thanks for taking the time to look over this post based on reflection and inspiration. As always follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans) and you are always welcome to visit my 21st centuryedtech Wiki!  Through out the week I will be sharing thoughts, ideas, and dreams, from Texas, until then, take a moment to “Imagine It” – Mike

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