Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Clean Up the Web Clutter!

You have found the perfect article to complement your lesson and you send the URL to your students who then proceed to click on the ads, links on the side, home page, and basically anything to get them off the perfect article you sent them. Your sweet students who have visual or reading accommodations might get very distracted by the blinking pictures, videos, and clickbait that is waiting for them on each website.

We got you! 

The following is a top five list (in no particular order) of decluttering website Chrome extensions that you and your students can install on your Chromebooks and/or Chrome desktop. None of the extensions listed below gathers your information, so three cheers for privacy! Click on the title of each Extension tool to bring you to the install page on the Chrome Web Store. If you need instructions on how to install Chrome Extensions, please refer to our PISD hotspot.

Source Article
I will be using the same website article for each of the extensions so that you have a control to compare features. You can find the article here: How a Black Spy Infiltrated the Confederate White House

1. Mercury Reader - The headline, article, links, and pictures are the only items retained when using this tool. The user has the ability to change the text size, font, and background color (black). One nifty feature is the ability to link this to your Kindle account and be able to send articles directly to your device.

2. Just Read - As you can see below, this tool removes all the distractions and you are left with a clean article. If you click on the paintbrush icon in the upper right corner, you have the ability to change font size and color as well as column size.

3. Easy Reader - This tool is a little more involved than just pressing a button to transform the pages. You can only transform a section at a time, but you are able to customize the font size/color and the line height. 

4. Purify - Not only does this tool clean up the webpage, but you end up scrolling horizontally instead of vertically. Yes, you can change the font size and make it full page. 

5. Announcify - This tool cleans up the webpage AND it reads the article to you. This would be quite useful for students (and teachers) who have reading difficulties. One paragraph is read at a time and the other text is blurred out. You can also control the pace and voice type using the options menu.

Hopefully, you will be able to use one or all of these tools to help your students focus on what they are reading and not be so distracted by the pretty blinking lights on the webpage. Happy reading!

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