Ensuring our content is accessible to students is part of our mission, and we're working hard to achieve that goal. We know having our content read aloud can be a necessity for your students to be able to fully utilize Albert, so we've highlighted the Chrome Extension that we think works best with Albert. Read&Write for Google Chrome™ integrates quickly and easily into the Google Chrome browser on your students' computers. If your students are using different devices to interact with Albert, let us know and we can help you find an appropriate solution!
Using Read&Write for Google Chrome™
Read&Write™ includes a wide variety of premium features that your students may be able to utilize, but for this article I'm going to focus on their free features for Google Chrome: text-to-speech and single-word translation.
Getting Set Up
Follow this link to read more about Read&Write for Google Chrome™ and add it to your or your student's browser. To add this Extension, click the "Add to Chrome" button in the top right of the webpage and then the "Add Extension" button in the subsequent pop-up window. You'll now be able to find the extension shortcut to the right of the search bar on your Google Chrome browser.
Go to the Albert page that you want to read aloud; I recommend this one in our Short Readings subject, as an example. Click on the Read&Write™ extension shortcut, a purple puzzle piece to the right of your search bar, and a toolbar will appear near the top of the webpage. For a detailed explanation on this toolbar and all of its buttons, check out this doc.
From here, you can...
- click on the icon of the speech bubble with the overlapping cursor, the third icon from the left, to enable the hover-over text-to-speech feature, and place your cursor over a section of text to have it read aloud. This is the option I recommend as I've found it works better with Albert passages.
- click on the play button to have the entire content of the site read aloud.
Both options allow the student to pause and stop the reading with the respective buttons in the toolbar. While the program reads, the selected sentence is highlighted in yellow and the current word is highlighted in blue allowing students to more easily follow along.
The highlighting and read aloud will continue to subsequent sentences throughout the page until you click the pause or stop buttons or hover on another piece of text on the page.
Using Read&Write™ with Albert also allows your students to translate single words on the page from English to many languages. Do enable this, have your student click on the icon of 2 crossed arrows in the toolbar. Doing so will cause the following popup.
With this popup, a student can double-click on a word on the page to have it translated into the selected language. The words in the popup will change to the selected word in English and include several options for translation in the selected language. For Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Dutch, a student can click the play button beside any of these words to have the word read aloud. For all other supported languages, the popup window will show the translated word, but will not have the word read aloud in another langue
Read&Write has some great customization options to help your students interact with Albert's content. To access the customization menu, click on the "..." on the right side of the toolbar, near the "x", and then click "Options". That will open up the following menu.
From here you can adjust the speed of the reading and the voice that reads the text. You can also choose how the reading-aloud progresses through the paragraph as well. Finally, you can change the language of the single-word translation feature.
We're hoping this article helps you more effectively use Albert with your students as we aim to better empower teachers of diverse learners. If you have any more questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Disclaimer: Read&Write for Google Chrome™ is a registered trademark of Texthelp Ltd., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product.