I was hanging out with my daughter last night, watching Hawaii 5-0. And, of course, I started reminiscing about the original version and the awesome opening theme sequence. This led to an online Google search of great Hawaii 5-0 resources. (Cause you haven’t lived unless you’ve heard Jack Lord say “Book ’em, Danno.”)

All of this to say that while messing with Google Search, I was reminded of a couple of new nice tools that you need to start using.

The first handy tool you need to try is the Preview Feature. To the right of each search result, you’ll see a small magnifying glass icon. Click that icon and run your cursor over any of the search results. You’ll get a window pane that opens giving you a quick preview of the web page. Handy for making decisions about site quality and usefulness. Click any of the magnifying glass icons to turn the feature off.

You can find the second cool feature by clicking the small Advanced Search link just to the right of the search box on the main Google search page. This takes you to a very handy page that allows you to be very specific about what you want to look for. What we want today is the new Reading Level option.

Clicking the drop down menu gives you five choices from the default setting of “no reading level displayed” to “show only advanced results.” It’s a great way to search for sites that you know fit the reading abilities of your kids.

It should tell me something when 1% of the results in Google’s bajillion web site database for “Book em Danno” are at the advanced reading level. But then again, you’ll probably use it for more academic purposes than looking up 30 year-old TV trivia!

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