Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading Levels in Google Docs

This afternoon while working on an article that I'm writing for a print journal, I discovered a handy little feature in the Google Docs tools menu. If you select the word count option in the Google Docs tools menu you will find three indicators of the reading level of the document you're creating. Google Docs will calculate for you the Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, and the Automatic Readability Index.

Applications for Education
The Google Docs reading level indicators could be useful if you're sending letters to homes of students where English is not the primary language. The reading level indicators could help you formulate your letter so that it can be read by all parents.

Moving the Goal Posts

Every TED Talk Online Ever

Through a few different blogs I found this spreadsheet listing every TED Talk ever posted online. The spreadsheet can be sorted by date, speaker, or conference. I first saw the list on Open Culture who linked to Boing Boing who linked to Economists Do It With Models.

Applications for Education
This spreadsheet could make a great accompaniment to Teaching With TED Talks.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Put TED Talks On Your Desktop
3 Ways the Brain Creates Meaning
The Birth of Wikipedia

VoiceThread Adds New Image and Comment Options

This week VoiceThread, one of my Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration, announced some new useful features. VoiceThread has rebuilt their Flickr import option to allow users to search for and import Creative Commons licensed images. When you use the Flickr import option, VoiceThread will automatically insert a backlink to original address of your chosen image(s).

Reordering of comments is now an option in VoiceThread. The creator of a VoiceThread can reorder the comments by holding the shift key and drag the comments into the desired order.

Applications for Education
The rebuilt Flickr import option should make it much easier to ensure that your students are incompliance with fair-use when they use images in the VoiceThreads that they create.