Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twurdy - A Web Search With a Readability Index

Last week I shared with you directions for refining Google search results by readability. I learned that little trick in Google Certified Teachers group where I also learned about Twurdy. Twurdy is search tool that automatically displays the readability of your search results for you. Twurdy uses a simple color-coded system to indicate how easy or difficult it is to read a particular website in your search results. There are three types of Twurdy searches; Just Twurdy, Simple Twurdy, and Twurdy with Pop. Here's how Twurdy defines the three search types:

Just Twurdy - searches using Twurdy's basic algorithm with medium speed and medium results.

Simple Twurdy - searches using Twurdy's simple algorithm for fast speed but less accurate results

Twurdy with Pop - searches using Twurdy's most complex algorithm which includes looking up the popularity of words within the text. It has a slower speed with more accurate results
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Applications for Education
Twurdy could be a useful resource for teachers trying to find reference materials appropriately matched to their students' reading abilities. It could also be used by students to help the refine searches to match their abilities.