WordQ for Chrome from Quillsoft is a great tool for helping struggling writers. This app (deliberately not an extension) is robust, works offline, and integrates well with Google Drive. It’s the best low-cost solution we’ve come across during our extensive sweep of available tools.
If you’re needing to offer your students simple, free text to speech to support their reading of web pages or PDFs – or any other digital text for that matter – ClaroRead is a really good tool. It’s unobtrusive, and, once it’s set up for your student, it doesn’t require much attention.
You can download the extension from the Chrome Web Store and once installed this icon will show at the top of your screen.
Clicking it will open the discreet Control Panel which allow you to configure the tool to suit yourself or your student.
e.g. If you tick the settings like this your student can simply highlight text to hear it read aloud.
Experiment with the settings to suit your user – e.g. switching on Click and play will change the control panel accordingly. Watch a demo video here.
Using ClaroRead text to speech to support writing.
e.g. Students can also hear what they’re writing as they type.
We at ATSS have always loved Book Creator and have suggested its use and trained numerous folks to use it and embed it into all sorts of curricular areas over a number of years. Book Creator has continuously developed over time onto different platforms and to offer additional tools and features.
This most recent development opens up an new world of possibilities for teachers to create interactive resources for their students while providing pupils with a fantastic work space in which they can showcase their work no matter (almost) what format it exists in.
I like this video because it includes and talks about important elements of Clicker that are often overlooked. Issues such as the variety of access methods and snippets of tailored choosing activities that can be seen in the background. One boy is using it for writing (which is great) but it’s by exploiting the power and adaptability within Clicker that’s paying off for these youngsters and their teachers.
The Assistive Technology Support Service has been sifting through various tools that might meet the many and varied needs of teachers and pupils as Chromebooks roll out across Highland schools.
PDF annotation seems to be a significant need.
Many pieces of teachers’ work for pupils already exist as PDF worksheets. The ability to annotate such material opens up many opportunities for pupils to interact directly with these worksheets as we move towards 1:1 device availability.
Kami is a good example of such a well-functioned tool to allow pupils to:
Digitally answer questions directly into the workspace
Comment directly on PDF texts
Draw shapes and diagrams to express knowledge and understanding
Utilise text-to-speech to support those with reading difficulties
Kami integrates with Google Classroom and Drive so files can be shared easily in both directions.