Thursday, September 26, 2013

2 Legendary Chrome Extensions for Struggling Readers and Writers

I hear that reading and writing are important.  How students should be doing these "across the curriculum" and how they are essential components of the Common Core.  More than that though, they are both crucial to a students long term success.  While they come naturally to some, for many, they can be a daily struggle.

As a former Special Education teacher I spent much of my time identifying tools that would help my students compensate for their various learning differences.  These tools typically turned out to be some form of technology.   In my opinion, technology "levels the playing field."

Enter my two favorite Chrome Extensions for struggling readers and writers.

1. Ginger, where were you when I was in school?  Once installed, this amazing tool automatically checks the spelling of written text, but also for over 30 common grammatical errors!  *As an added bonus, Ginger displays the correction in sentence form so the student can see the mistake in context and hopefully learn from it.

2. Proof reading is important.  Hearing what we type enables us to detect errors that our eyes alone do not catch.  Enter Speak It.  It is like our own personal proof reader.  I like how just stick some headphones on (it looks like they are listening to music) and have their words read back to them.

 *One tip on this one.  Highlight the text you want to read first, then click the Speak It extension button.  If you click the Speak It button first, it will read every word on the page!

By the way, I used both while writing this post.  While not a good writer, I am on a mission.

Photo Credit: e-magic and Wendy Copley via flickr

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