Top 5 Exceptional Extensions
Guest blog post by Lynn Gershman
Our students come to us with all their personality, talents, behaviors, and exceptionalities. Getting to know students is the easily the best part of being an educator. In her seminal work. An Ethic of Caring (1998), Nel Noddings tell us, “We need to give up the notion of a single educated person and replace it with a multiplicity of models designed to accommodate the multiple capacities and interests of students. We need to recognize multiple identities.” The implications of this idea are huge, and educators will need help to identify and support all of the different students in a classroom, and technology can help.
Many of our students have exceptionalities and many times several of them that intertwine and co-exist. Google has many extensions to address a variety of unique needs for students using technology.
This extension Open Dyslexic will change any web-based text into the open dyslexic font which has been found to assist dyslexic people in decoding and reading with fluency 60% of the time. It’s worth seeing your students’ faces brighten when they notice the difference in the ability to decode when they look at this font. It works on all documents and web-pages if the extension is running.
The font changes to look like the example below.
The Chrome extension Colorblinding will adjust the color on any website for specific colorblind issues. Students with vision 504s will hopefully have the type of color-blind category listed. If not, experimenting with each of the types is easy to do. Just find a website with lots of colors, click a class and refresh.
Students using Speakit! highlight words or sections of text and the app reads it to them.
- Below grade level readers
- Test accommodations
- Available in different languages
Using VoiceNoteII, students speak into the mic and the app types out the text which can be copied and pasted into any other document.
- Students with occupational issues
- Students who are frustrated with typing
- Teachers who have to fill out LOTS of forms (IEPs)
- Behavior comments during class
- Documenting Conversations
All students need brain breaks, and the Move It extension runs them for you! Students with this extension running will have all kinds of fun brain break tasks to do while working in groups or solo. Teachers can change the timing of the brain breaks but not the activities. Don’t be surprised if one of your groups stands up and wiggles for 10 seconds!
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