It was May of 2015, and The Internet was up in arms.
It wasn’t because of a casting decision for some superhero blockbuster. It had nothing to do with a Kardashian. It wasn’t even a gaffe by a politician.
No, this controversy had to do with one of Google’s Advanced Search filters – the search engine had taken away the ability to filter by reading level.
The Internet had a lot to say about this development.
Comments ranged from despondent:
“Very sad move IMHO.”
“We are very disappointed.”
“Wow!! That was a stupid move.”
“With the amount of teachers in this world, I just don’t understand why this search feature was removed.”
“C’mon Google. Not having the reading level filter is disastrous!”
“I use that feature to differentiate my instruction.”
“I teach English language learners and it is extremely difficult for them to gain confidence with technology, research and 21st century skills if they can’t READ the information they find!”
“As an ICT integrator in an elementary school, this tool was key … Helping our students become more informationally literate and able to sift and sort through mountains of information is a key skill.”
“It allowed students to have greater independence over their learning…”
“I used this feature to help my students that read below grade level in their research articles.”
“This was such an important tool for teachers, especially ESL teachers and their students.”
“I’m a library media specialist in a middle school and have taught students to use the reading level filter to find information that they can comprehend.”
To “think of the kids”:
“As a Reading & Dyslexia Specialist, the removal of the reading level was a sad day for my students.”
“Students NEED this feature!!”
“Google, please bring it back – for the kids!”
And that’s just one forum! And it’s not even an education-focused one!
In all seriousness, removing the reading level filter was a very big deal. Look at how many use cases are mentioned above – differentiated instruction, information literacy, ELL/ESL, independent learning, and special education.
We’re thrilled to be able to fill the void. Choosito! does a lot of things, but nothing has generated as much excitement (so far) as our search engine’s ability to filter by reading level. [Disclaimer – you do have to register for a free account to use the filters.]
Check out the Tweets below. Or read what this blogger had to say. Or this one. Or how about this one?
— Lynn A Fuini-Hetten (@lfuinihetten) February 24, 2016
— Kim Mrtin (@kimnitram) February 20, 2016
— Cory Klinge (@MrKlinge) February 11, 2016
— Dave DiSora (@DiSoraDave) February 1, 2016
— Martin Cisneros (@TheTechProfe) January 27, 2016
As I mentioned earlier, Choosito! is a lot more than just a safe, leveled search engine. We also provide the tools to help you teach information literacy and track student progress along the way. You should check out those features when you have a chance.
Meanwhile, take advantage of our reading level-indexed search. We’re happy to do our part in making it easier for you and your students to find the right resources for their unique needs.
OK, Internet – you can go back to talking about casting for the next Marvel movie, Kardashians, and the Presidential campaign.