EC&I 833

Read & Write for Google Chrome

Photo Credit: Flickr via Compfight cc

Google Read & Write for Google Chrome is one of the education apps within Google’s suite of apps.  This is an app I use quite often in my classroom.  When I thought about the challenge to tackle screencast-o-matic, I thought that  read & write for google chrome  would be an appropriate topic for the task.  So … here is a little bit about how I use read & write in my classroom in my first ever screencast!

**I realized post video that there are lulls with what is happening on the screen and it’s just me talking while you stare at a screen – amateur!

I believe Read & Write for google is a very powerful tool for my struggling readers and writers as well as for my EAL learners.  It allows students who struggle with reading and/or writing to access tools that allow them to be more independent and successful. Independence and success are not always experienced by struggling readers/writers or new language learners.  This app gives them tools to help them grow in reading and writing without constant intervention or assistance from a teacher or peer.  In addition, when used within google docs, the teacher is able to interact with the student in real time or later on.

Read & Write provides many wonderful features that make text accessible for all levels of readers and writers.  At a quick glance, it provides:

• Hear written work read aloud
• Hear text translated into other languages
• Get suggestions for the current or next word as you type (word prediction)
• Turn words into text as you speak
• Highlight text in documents or the web and collect for use in other documents
• Create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google Docs
• Simplify and summarize text on web pages
• Have text read aloud to you from any website
• Read aloud text for fluency and send a copy to a teacher

Angela Reid posted a blog about specific benefits to EAL learners and the many supports it provides for language learners.

Drawbacks –

  • It is just a tool.  While it reads to my students, it still requires them to be active and willing participants.  For example, students must be willing to listen for errors in their own work when proofreading. It won’t point them out for them.  Likewise, my EAL learners may not recognize tense errors or grammatical mistakes in their work as they are not advanced enough in their own understanding of English.  Teachers and students who use this app should be aware of its limitations.
  • The document that captures highlights cannot be added to.  Every time you capture the highlights, it takes you to a new document.  I find this a bit frustrating, but it’s not a big deal if you are aware ahead of time.
  • The Read & Write for Google site states: if you are trialing Read&Write for Google, you will have access to all features for 30 days. After your trial expires, you will still have access to text-to-speech and translator for Google Docs, Google Slides and the web, but the Read&Write for Google will only be available if you purchase a subscription. I know that all RPS employees have access to premium features with a yearly subscription however, on the website, it indicates that premium features are free for teachers.  So, I’m not sure what is paid for differently through a subscription.  Good news … If you’re a teacher, it should be free (guess that’s not a drawback!).

All things considered, I believe the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages with this app.

If you work in any capacity with students who are learning language or if you teach English Language Arts or even any of the content areas, I encourage you to look into Google Read & Write as a useful tool.  Aside from what I’ve posted here, there is a great deal of information online to help you along with Read & Write for Google Chrome.  Here is a short written document that gives a quick overview of how to set up the app as well as parts of the tool bar.  Hope it helps!

How many of you use this app?  Love it or hate it?  New ways to use it?  Let me know what you think.


4 thoughts on “Read & Write for Google Chrome

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Natalie!

    I have seen Google Read and Write and played with it myself, but I have not had the chance to use it with students. I’m glad to be able to hear about your experience (and to know of the potential frustrations). Additionally, I believe anyone in Regina Public has access to Google Read and Write if I’m not mistaken, so that’s an FYI for anyone unsure about starting to use it.


  2. Wow Natalie, thanks for sharing information about Google Read and Write. I work with university students and I think that read back feature would be so helpful even for them! I know many students I work with have trouble editing and revising. I think it would be great particularly for our international and EAL students. I am definitely going to download this and show it to my students.


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