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Three Chrome Extensions for Early Elementary and Special Education Students

posted Mar 7, 2016, 11:47 AM by wafflem@calhounisd.org   [ updated Mar 7, 2016, 11:50 AM ]
Submitted by Dale Ehrhart -
Genesee ISD - REMC 14E

Tablets rose to prominence in classrooms across the United States, in part, because of their excellent array of tools that support early elementary and special education students.  For example, teachers can push out web resources to their students via sound using an app called Chirp.  Additionally, young students can conduct web searches using voice-to-text and have the information read back to them using text-to-speech. 


Capabilities like these can be duplicated in the Chrome ecosystem (Chrome browser, Chromebooks, Chromebox) using the following extensions:

 Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.57.52 AM.png  You can use Google Tone to send the URL for any web page, including news stories, pictures, documents, blog posts, products, YouTube videos, recipes—even search results. Any computer within earshot that also has the Google Tone extension installed and turned ON can receive a Google Tone notification.

Support Video: Google Tone

 Voice search using any search engine easily. Simply press the  red microphone icon in the top bar. EasyVoiceSearch now includes the popular choice child friendly browser KidRex.

Support Documentation: EasyVoiceSearch Tip Sheet

 Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.58.40 AM.png
 Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 9.00.08 AM.png  ATbar is free and allows you to change the look and feel of webpages, have text read aloud, and spell check forms.

Support Documentation: ATBar Instructions

These  extensions are extremely versatile and support the diverse learning needs and styles of students across K-12. Google Tone can be used as a classroom management device to help students focus on an upcoming assignment or support students with motor and visual impairments. Text-to-Speech applications are effective aids for people who experience dyslexia, reading challenges, or visual impairment. General education students can experience benefits from a mixed learning method for long text passages and reviewing and editing their own writings. Similarly, speech-to-text applications can benefit students who have difficulty expressing themselves through traditional methods due to a variety of reasons.

Whether it’s age, learning style, physical disability, or learning disability these these free and easy-to-use extensions can be used in conjunction with any device running the Chrome browser to help make learning accessible for all.