Designing web pages is a skill and an art. However, some of this skill and art can either be lost on our students or end up being a distraction and reducing focus. Students are exposed to online learning at ever increasing rates. So, more web pages to comb through and distractions to get them off task. However, I’ve found a tool that eliminates all distractions from a web page so students can get right to content.
Readability is a Chrome extension that clears out all the “noise” on a web page: navigation bars, headers, colors, and ads. All that is left is clean text. The page has considerable functionality with configurable content. Hyperlinks are still active; text can be resized and restyled; margins can be adjusted. Also, a unique readability web address is created, allowing for easy sharing. Lastly, Readability pages can be sent to a Kindle.
Voila! Now you can send your students to a clean document, perfect for those easily distracted and special-needs students. All of my students have the Readability extension on their browsers and now use it frequently and willingly.
Kenny Silva teaches eighth-grade English language arts, US history and technology at Easterbrook Discovery School in San Jose, CA. He is a site technology lead and member of the Moreland School District Technology Committee. Kenny is also a trainer for the KCI MERIT program, presenting at various teacher conferences and workshops instructing and training educators on the implementation of technology in the classroom. Connect with Kenny online, via email or follow him on Twitter.
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