Google Chrome has fantastic extensions that are great for special education students. These extensions are helpful for distance and remote learning, but are also great for classroom use. Here are my favorite Chrome Extensions for special education.
This extension is Am-Ma-Zing. Snap and Read Universal makes differentiation for your students a breeze. Not only does this app read text, it also modifies it, simplifying language. It has built in study tools to help organize information, and it even creates citations for websites for bibliographies. It has color overlays to highlight text to help with focus. If you aren’t sure what reading level a text is, it will analyse it for you. It translates to over 100 languages for your English Language Learners, and it has a picture supported dictionary. It even can read PDFs that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible. Yep, all in one extension. You’re not dreaming, it’s real.
Co:Writer Universal helps students use speech to text in order to write. It has predictive text abilities and can work with inventive spelling too.
The OpenDyslexic Font helps people with dyslexia read more easily. The font is designed so that letters like b and d aren’t mirror images. That makes it easier for the brain to distinguish and not have reversals. I’ve had parents that used this font for themselves, and a teacher friend of mine swears it helps her not have headaches when she reads on her computer, even though she isn’t dyslexic. The extension allows you to browse while using this font instead of the sites default font. It’s free so give it a try.
This extension allows users to easily create Word Banks. Word Bank Universal is free to try for 30 days, but has a small monthly fee after that. Here is a screenshot of the word bank it created while I was looking at a page on The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.
Save time with QuizBot to create quizzes from web page material. The quiz gets automatically made in Google Forms, so if you’re already using Google for your eLearning, it will be nice and seamless for you.
Chrome Vox Classic is a screen reader extension that is designed for visually impaired people to have access to websites with a desktop like experience. I heard about it from a blind friend who uses it. This extension could also help students who aren’t reading yet have more accessibility to the page.
If you have students who are colorblind, they can benefit from the Colorblind extension. It has settings for the various types of colorblindness to help with accessibility.
Did you know that there are extensions that work with Google Classroom? With the explosion of digital and remote learning, it’s nice to find some tricks to make it easier. Share to Classroom allows you to push webpages to your Google Classroom.
This extension is pretty neat. It allows you to use your webcam to read QR codes. I always have difficulty accessing QR codes myself, so The QR Code Extension helps make that a little easier. If you’re a teacher that uses QR codes in the classroom (or for digital learning), this will help.
If tracking Chromebooks is an issue for you, Gopher Buddy can help. It helps keep track of users and devices by working with Google Sheets. And, in case you ever need it, it can do reporting on sessions of domains accessed. It will give information on the entire session activity for a particular device. Of course, don’t get yourself in that position by making sure you are actively monitoring while students are using internet connected devices.
Tired of ads, comments and more distracting stuff when students are doing work on the web? Get rid of it with Mercury Reader. It reduces website clutter and also formats for easy printing.
Technology Opens Doors
I hope these extensions make the internet more accessible for your students or even yourself. As we have recently seen, we are relying on technology more than ever, and we have to make sure that doesn’t become an additional roadblock for our kids. Thankfully, we can use Chrome extensions for special education students to make websites accessible for everybody. If you want new ideas of connecting with your students during distance learning, read my article 8 Meaningful Ways to Connect with Students Online.