Every day we expect our students to engage with a wide variety of texts as readers, writers, editors and researchers. For many of our students this reliance on text presents a real challenge that can stand in the way of them achieving other goals. For a student still struggling with handwriting or typing, a routine task that requires a written response can be an obstacle to their success, despite a detailed understanding of the content. A student with a difficulty in reading will encounter similar obstacles when a task requires them to access information from a written text and the demands of bringing a mix of ideas presented in a document from working memory into a coherent summary can challenge many learners.
For teachers looking to apply a Universal Design for Learning approach these obstacles to learning could be overcome by selecting alternative ways of engaging with or responding to the content or students could be guided towards using Read & Write for Google.
Read & Write provides a useful set of tools for students who struggle with text. It provides a text reader, speech input, highlighter and summary tools, dictionary and picture dictionary. It works with Google Docs, PDF, ePub and Kes bringing new functionality to each format. It is free for teachers and is well worth exploration.
Jason Carroll of Spectronics Blog provides a detailed introduction to Read & Write for Google - Visit Now
By Nigel Coutts