Helps Students with Print Disabilities Use Google Apps for Education:
Read&Write for Google is a suite of literacy tools designed to help students with print disabilities and English language learners improve reading, writing, research, and study skills.
This latest iteration of Texthelp Inc's flagship product, Read&Write GOLD, targets schools using Google Apps for Eduction -- a suite of free, hosted applications that facilitate cloud collaboration among students and teachers.
Read&Write for Google opens a toolbar of literacy aids (text-to-speech, study skills highlighters, dictionaries, etc.) within one's Google Drive account. The program combine's Texthelp's Read&Write for Google Docs Chrome extension, and its PDF Reader and ePub Reader, which let users edit and annotate digital documents.
With Read&Write for Google, Texthelp extends document accessibility to a rapidly expanding environment: an estimated 25 million students use Google Apps for Education -- up from 10 million in 2010.
Using Read&Write for Google:
To use the application for Google Docs, access your Drive account and open a new or saved document. The file will open in a new Chrome tab.
Click the Read&Write for Google icon in the upper right corner of the screen to open the toolbar.
The toolbar buttons are straightforward, e.g. for text-to-speech, click beside the word where you want to start reading and press "Play." Press "Stop" at any time to halt playback.
The Dictionary button looks up words and read their definition. The Picture Dictionary provides images from the Widget Symbols Library. You can copy definitions and images directly into a document.
The "Translator" speaks single-word translations aloud in the proper accent.
To learn more about a term or topic, select a word and click the Fact Finder icon. The program executes a Google search and displays results in a new browser tab.
To highlight information, select the pertinent text and click one of four color buttons. Click the "Collect Highlights" button to gather and sort selections in a new document.
Click "Vocabulary List Builder" button to collect highlighted words in a new document, along with their definition, image, and an editable notes field.
Using Read&Write for Google PDF & ePub Reader:
To use Read&Write for Google with PDF and ePub documents, access your Google Drive account and click on a PDF document. Note: The Read&Write symbol should appear beside the file icon. If it doesn't, go to Settings > Manage Apps and set it as the default.
Just as with Google Docs, clicking on a PDF or ePub file opens it in a new tab with the Read&Write toolbar at the top of the screen.
Most of the same Google Docs tools are available here, including text to speech, dictionaries, translator, fact finder, and highlighting.
To listen to a document, you can either press the Click-to-Speak or simply by highlighting text and pressing "Play."
PFD Reader and ePub Reader also enable you to insert both edits and annotations into documents.
Clicking "Annotation" replaces the cursor with a pushpin icon. Click where you'd like to place the annotation and type your note.
To make direct edits, place the cursor to your desired insertion point, click the "Typewriter" icon, and enter or delete text using the keyboard.
The ePub Reader also provides font customization and layout options. You can also add bookmarks and easily view file navigation.
In addition, the toolbar has zoom and navigation options. On the right, the "Options" button enables you to change the speaking voice, speech rate, translator default language, and select viewing options.
Read&Write for Google is sold via subscription to both single users and schools. You can download a free 30-day trial from the Chrome Web Store.
About Texthelp, Inc.:
Texthelp, Inc. develops literacy applications to help students at all educational levels read and write more effectively, and enable teachers and publishers to provide content in accessible formats. Its flagship product, Read&Write GOLD, gives PC and Mac users every assistive solution that bolsters composition, research, and study skills on a toolbar accessible within most applications. The Read&Write line also includes mobile, and cloud-based solutions designed for the iPad and Google. Texthelp's Fluency Tutor enables teachers to monitor, assess, and assist young students through self-paced reading instruction. Texthelp's headquarters are in Woburn, Mass.