Teacher and life-long learner looking for innovative ways to inspire the students I teach. Middle school reading interventionist (grades 6-8) in Texas, yearbook adviser, & student advocate looking to grow my PLN with real people and real solutions.
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Google Helps Students w/Reading Disabilities
As a Reading teacher, and also a mom who deals with reading
struggles in my own kids, finding a way for my students and children to learn
online content without someone having to continually assist with unknown words
or becoming totally frustrated has been important.Working
diligently to address and close the gaps in a student's reading deficits
are always a top priority, but what happens when that child wants to learn more
on a subject he is interested in?Or
when she needs to do online research for an upcoming project in social studies?The
fact is, when you have a reading disability, it affects not only your reading
class, but your entire life. This past summer, after
downloading Google Drive, I discovered the app, "Read&Write forGoogle" in the Chrome Store. The tagline caught my eye, "...to help individuals struggling with reading and writing, those with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or English Language Learners." I knew immediately I must try it!
Once downloaded, the small green icon sits just below your Favorites tool bar.
Once you click on the green icon, you have the choice of having the selected selection read aloud or hover speech.
Other settings include how fast/slow the text is read and voice/expression (man's voice or woman's). After setting the features at a comfortable pace, we began to play with numerous websites and Google documents.
It is nice to see a student successful. It is even better to see a student when he/she FEELS successful. Watching Read&Write for Google in action did just that. For some of the students I was using it with, it allowed them for the first time ever to explore a website without needing someone sitting over their shoulder to help with harder text; no one was needed to chunk the mutli-syllabic words apart... having a reading disability suddenly didn't matter as much.
While we will continue to diligently work on becoming better readers, Read&Write for Google will continue to equip students with one more way they can take charge of their online learning. Knowledge is power; being able to do your own research and learning independently is fierce!
**Note: The makers of Read&Write for Google also have an iPad app for students called "Reading Champion." I haven't downloaded it yet, but am planning on it. I like the fact that students can read the text, listen to the text read aloud, and then record THEMSELVES reading the text, as well as note any words that were difficult for the student while reading. Once I download the app, and we have time to play a bit, I will write a review. If any of you are familiar with this app, or any other add-ons/apps to foster reading, please let us know in the reply section!
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