Trial and Error with Google Read and Write

I have had a love and hate relationship with the Google App Extension,Google Read and Write. I love the App and hate that my students won’t use it on consistent basis. Read and Write was recommended to me by an Ed-Psychologist who thought it could be beneficial to use with students who have Dyslexia and other reading and writing learning disabilities. It is really easy to set up and add to your browser. Just click “add to Chrome” and the extension is added to your browser. It will then appear as a purple icon in your search bar, as you see in the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.23.18 AM


When a student opens up an article to read in class, or a google doc they are going to type in, they click on the icon and it will give them a plethora of choices depending on what they want to do, and what kind of help they need (see screenshot below)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.26.21 AM

A little description what’s available:

I had students download the extension a couple of weeks ago and we practiced its variety of features while we read Sean Penn’s opus in Rolling StoneEl Chapo Speaks. Students played around with the variety of options and seemed to especially like the text speech option, the dictionary, and the fact finder for research.

Late last week, I did an informal poll of both classes who downloaded Google Read and Write. Each said they were not going to buy the premium version, and more then 3/4ths of them had already removed the extension from their browser. I think first and foremost students want “Free.” They were not going to ask their parents to buy them the extension. Google Read and Write also has the annoying habit of constantly requesting permission to view pages. This seemed to really frustrate the students. Both issues are fixable. As a Google School with a pretty hefty budget, I feel like we could buy a subsciption for our Learning Support Department. I also feel that permission to view pages is a user error and something that is correctable. The benefits of Google Read and Write for our struggling students are too great to dismiss this helpful extension. I will continue to trial and error the program until I can make it stick where it it something they use automatically, like the right click function.



Author: mrbakerism

I am a high school learning support teacher at the International School Manila. Welcome to my site!

One thought on “Trial and Error with Google Read and Write”

  1. I was excited to read your post, as Google Read and Write is not something I am familiar with. Since this is an unfamiliar application, I really enjoyed your screencast explaining the functions and navigating the features. Coupled with the visual screenshots, it gave me a good indication of what Google Read and Write has to offer.
    I wonder how you can get students engaged in this application more often. It is because they don’t own the premium version or is it that they don’t like reading? Or maybe it is the content they are using the app with. Could you have them use this as a warm up before the lesson? The students could choose their own article, use Google Read and Write, and then write a 1-2 sentence summary on their article. If you do this every day, students might learn to love, or at least appreciate its benefits, especially with the buy-in of choosing their own article. I would suggest putting data as evidence of Google Read and Write being a beneficial tool for your students. Or, you can add a poll to your blog post and ask your audience how they might use Google Read and Write to get some new, fresh ideas!


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