Classroom Software Resources

Google Chrome Web Browser

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in use today. It is highly regarded for its speed, simplicity, security & privacy, customization and the ability to log into your own personalized browser, on any computer with Chrome installed, using your username and password. If you currently use the web browsers Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari it is recommended that you consider upgrading to Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Download

 Google Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome browser extensions are small software programs that customize your browsing experiences.  They enable users to tailor their web browsers for specific functionality and behavior to fit their individual needs and preferences. There are a lot of extensions that are created specifically for productivity and educational purposes including extensions for users with specific learning disabilities.

Ad Blocking Extensions

Ad blocking software is used to block advertisements that appear when using computer browsers. While ad blocking software doesn’t block all ads, it does block a majority of ads. This can help to minimize distractions in the classroom when using a web browser.

Accessible Text Apps & Websites

  • Book Creator: Book Creator allows allows teachers and students to create their own digital books by combining text, images, audio and video in an easy to use interface. The books can then be published to the web to be read by anyone with internet access.
  • Bookshare: Bookshare is a website that allows users to listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices, hear and see highlighted words on the screen, read with digital braille or enlarged fonts, create physical braille or large print as well as other additional features.
  • Newsela: Newsela is a database of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. You can use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions.
  • Storynory: Storynory is a website that provides free high quality audio stories including fairy tales, classic authors, myths and the world, educational, poems and music stories aimed at younger learners.

Reading Support Extensions

  • BeeLine Reader: The BeeLine Reader applies a color gradient to text that helps reduce “line transition errors” (accidentally skipping a line or re-reading the same line twice). The color gradient generated by BeeLine Reader helps guide the reader’s eyes from the end of one line to the beginning of the next, which significantly reduces the chance of accidentally skipping or repeating lines.
  • Mercury Reader: The Mercury Reader extension removes ads and distractions, leaving only text and images for a clean and consistent reading view on every site. Best used for viewing individual articles and not on home pages.
  • Visor: As well as being a great general purpose screen dimmer, Visor’s overlays and point of focus feature may be assistive to users with visual perceptual difficulties such as Dyslexia, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and Visual Stress.

Text to Speech Extensions

  • Read & Write: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting. Text and picture dictionaries to see the meaning of words explained. Dictate words to assist with writing, proofreading and studying. Simplify and summarize text on web pages to remove ads and other copy that can be distracting. Cost: Free 30 day trial and free for teachers.
  • Select and Speak: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages or whole document read aloud. Simply highlight the text to be read, right click and choose the select and speak function.
  • Snap&Read Universal: Reads aloud text from websites, images, Google Docs, eBook Readers, Kindle Cloud Reader, email and other sources. Cost: Free for 7 days, $3.99/month after 7 day trial.
  • Speak It!: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages or whole document read aloud. Simply highlight the text to be read, right click and choose the Speak It! function.

PDF Editors

  • Kami: Easy to use .PDF editor that works seamlessly with Google Docs. Allows users to edit text, add highlights, drawings, etc. directly to .PDF’s. Teachers can transform existing coursework into fully editable collaborative .PDF’s.

How to Access PowerIEP Instructional Videos