Sunday, 29 September 2013

How to set up Chrome with Apps/Extensions

Okay so you have downloaded the Chrome web browser, but how does one get all the helpful apps and extensions?

This is a quick tutorial to help parents set up Chrome for a child with Dyslexia, or other reading/writing struggles.

1. You will need to input an email address to create a Google account for Chrome. If you already have an Android device (phone, or tablet) you have an account. It can be any email address, it doesn't have to be a gmail account.

2. Once you have an account, you can start to add apps and extensions to Chrome. Click on the App Drawer to get to the Chrome Web Store.

3. Click on the Chrome Web Store. Here you can search and download apps and extensions.

4. When you want to select an app or extension, simply click on the "add" or "free" button.

5. Apps will appear when you click on the App Drawer.
Extensions either run in the background (usually a right click option), or launch from a small icon near the address bar.

Some apps and extensions I would suggest are:

OpenDyslexic app
This changes all web pages to the OpenDyslexic font which is easier to read. It works on most web pages, but not all. Once added, it is always on.

Announcify extension
Reads web pages outloud and highlights the paragraph being read.

Dictanote app
This app does speech to text, spoken words into a text document that can be copied and pasted into an email, or saved in Word/Pages ect.

Image Dictionary extension
This is an extension that works off off the right click menu. Highlight a word, and right click it and it will bring up a picture from Wikipedia of that word. Helps with comprehension.

Chrome Speak extension
This is effective when the student is reading most of the web page, but some words are difficult. Highlight and right click the word, and it will be read to them.

Announcify - Chrome Web Browser Extension

Announcify is an extension for the Chrome Web Browser. It is a great way to make web sites more accessible to students. It removes all the flashing ads, and enlarges the font to make it easier to read. It has text-to-speech that reads the article. 

Here is an example of how Announcify helps to simplify a web page:

The original article:

After selecting Announcify:

The text in the paragraph that is being read is clear, and the previous, and following passages are blurred. It makes it easy to concentrate on the words being read.

To add Announcify to Chrome, go here:

Friday, 27 September 2013

Using Beelineit!

Beelineit! works with most web browsers, and it is also a bookmarklet that works in Safari on the iPad. It converts articles on the web to the "Open-Dyslexic" fornt, and has a colour gradient to the lines to make them easier to read. It doesn't work on every page, and it will occasionally freeze the browser, but overall it is an excellent tool for anyone with dyslexia.

If you have never installed a bookmarklet before, please follow these instructions:

On your iPad/iPod/iPhone, open Safari, and go to:

DD's Dictionary - iPad

Dd's Dictionary is an iOS app for the iPod, iPad, and iPhone that was created by a mother because her daughter was struggling with phonics. It has the option of choosing the "Dysle+ie" font. The reader can use the dictionary app when they don't know a word they are reading, or when they are writing.

When you open the app, the default is not the "Dysle+le" font, and the back ground is white. If you hit the settings button, you can change the background to green (supposed to help keep the letters from moving, or getting mixed up), and you can select to have the easier to read font. Lastly, you can change the option to speak the word as soon as the word is selected.