Digital Update


Term 1 Week 8

A better Web reading experience
A lot of time is spent by students at College and at home accessing information from web pages.

There is obviously a great amount of relevant information on the web that can be used by students as part of the curriculum. I have found though, that students sometimes struggle with their comprehension of text and articles on web pages.

One of the reasons for this is the clutter that is often around text that can serve as a distraction for students: web page headers, advertising, social media links, links to other sites, comments, etc. 

A useful tool that some students have started using is Refine. It is a free extension for the Chrome browser.

The Chrome extension can be downloaded by going to the Chrome web store: CLICK HERE

Once this extension has been installed, it will sit in the browser extension bar to the right of the URL box. When a student navigates to a website they will usually see the clutter surrounding the text as described above. For a more focused reading and comprehension experience, they can then click on the Refine extension. It will then open another version of the web page with just the text.

The students that I have spoken to about this, have reported that they find it very useful. Particularly if they are reading though information of considerable length. They have observed that they can get through an article more quickly and also report a better understanding of the content.

This evidence is anecdotal, but I think that it makes sense that, if a reader is being distracted by the clutter around a web page, a free tool to remove it will be beneficial.

Another Chrome extension that students with Dyslexia may find useful is Open Dyslexic. CLICK HERE to open the link.

This tool transforms the text on the web page to a font that may be helpful for dyslexic students. This tool is also free and may be worth a try.

Mr James Jenkins
Director of Digital Pedagogy/Director of Learning and Innovation Year 7-12