Friday, 3 May 2013

May 3, 2013 – Google It – Twurdy Style!

Hello Everyone,

When in doubt, the world has turned to ‘Google’ to find the answer; and while I find that it is a fantastic web search tool, it’s not always beneficial for students.   Most student searches for research material will result in fast results, often in the millions of webpages, many of which are not anywhere near their reading level.  This is where Twurdy can help.  By going to to search for information, search results are filtered by reading level so students can best choose web information that they will be able to read and understand.

 Twurdy, a mash-up of ‘Too Wordy’ is a search engine where the results are average age or colour coded (pink to coral to red) from ‘Easier to Read’ to ‘Harder to Read’.  This way students can choose material which is geared to their own reading level.  The ‘Just Twurdy’ option, searches using medium speed and with medium results, while ‘Simple Twurdy’ produces fast but less accurate results. Finally, the ‘Twurdy with Pop’ includes looking up the popularity of words within the text. It has a slower speed however the results are more accurate. 
Give it a try with your students on their next research assignment.

Finally, with the removal of Corel and Word Perfect from the board computers, I would like to remind teachers of the website called Online Convert ( This website will convert anything to anything – a PDF document to an MP3 for students to listen to, a GIF image to a JPEG image, even convert a COREL file to a PDF or Word Document!! Yes, finally when you e-mail documents created at school in Word Perfect for editing at home, online-convert will change it into a PDF or Word file for you! Simply click on the web address and choose which application you need to convert.  Here is how I changed my word perfect document to a Microsoft Word document…

1.     Type in web address ( into the address bar

2.    Choose the type of file to convert – here I chose ‘Document Converter’ and from the drop down menu I picked ‘convert to DOC’ and clicked on it

3.     Where it says ‘Upload your document you want to convert to DOC:’ I clicked on ‘Choose File’ and found where on my computer I had stored the document (FYI - you can also add the web address of a webpage if you need it converted instead)

4.    Then click on ‘convert file’

     If there are documents that you plan on revising and using from year to year, I suggest you take some time and transfer them into an alternate format for use in the fall and later.

If there are any questions or if you would like me to stop in and lend a hand with either of these tools, please feel free to let me know.

Have a great sunny weekend!

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