Saturday, March 23, 2013

Read and Write for Google Docs

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Google Documents is a great online word processing program with loads of useful features. However it gets even better for students of all ages and skill levels with the addition of a Chrome extension called Read&Write for Google Documents.

This extension add a whole list of new features including text to speech, dictionary definitions, a picture dictionary, note-taking tool, vocabulary list tool, and more. Read&Write can be used by students still learning to read, by students with reading struggles or special needs, and by students who are accomplished writers but would benefit from help with editing and organizing.



Once installed, to use the extension simply have any Google Document open, and then click on the "Read&Write" tab to open its toolbar. Students can then select text and do the following:
  • Click the "Play" button to have the text read aloud.
  • Click the "Dictionary" button to see a written definition, which can also be clicked to be read aloud.
  • Click the "Picture Dictionary" button to see clipart related to the selected word.
  • Click the "Fact Finder" button to open a new tab with a Google search of the text.
Students can also highlight multiple words or selections throughout the document and then do the following:
  • Click the "Collect Highlights" button to pull all the selected texts together in a new window.
  • Click the "Vocabulary List" button to open a new window with definitions, related pictures, and room for notes.
Read&Write is a useful extension for any student. For writing it can help them to edit and improve their work. For reading it can help them read the material, understand unfamiliar words, pull out important passages, and address vocabulary needs.

 Install the Read&Write for Google Documents extension from the Chrome Web Store

6 comments:

  1. we use it with students, its awesome! But for some reason when used on our school network it didn't work, there were no voices listed in the options. So, if you also add the chrome app called SpeakIt then you have voices and a way to read websites other than Docs.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that! I have not run across that problem, but for those that do, this will be very helpful. The SpeakIt extension can be found here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speakit/pgeolalilifpodheeocdmbhehgnkkbak

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  2. Does it support other languages than American English?
    Like Queens English, French or Swedish?

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  3. Yes it does- we use Danish! But sometimes it reads too fast even though it´s set to do slow reading.

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  4. This solution was great when it was free, now don't bother with downloading it, the cost is too great. See the prices below:

    The Read&Write for Google product can be purchased in two different ways:

    1) Individual annual licenses can be purchased through the Google Chrome store for $100 each. Individual Google accounts can purchase this or Google domains (districts) can purchase multiple licenses and assign to specific student accounts within their domain. Quantity discounts are available for domains purchasing more than 10 individual licenses.

    2) Google domains (districts) can also purchase annual universal access to Read&Write for Google. The cost is $3/student and there are volume discounts for domains/districts with more than 5,000 students.

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