Google’s new Classroom tools include a ‘reader mode’ for people with dyslexia
Google is making it easier for people with reading challenges, such as dyslexia, to be able to make out articles and text posts online. The tech giant has launched “reader mode” for Chrome, which takes a site’s primary content and puts it into the sidebar to reduce clutter and distractions. Users will also be able to change the text’s typeface, font size and spacing, as well as its color and background color, to find the combination that works best for them.
Reader mode is but one of the new features and updates Google has rolled out for education users. Another new feature for Google Classroom gives educators the ability to add interactive questions to YouTube videos. That will allow students to answer them and get immediate feedback, giving teachers an insight on how well they understand the subject matter.
Google is also giving teachers a way to share practice sets with other verified educators in their domain, so that they can expand the availability of materials their students have access to. For particularly difficult mathematical and scientific concepts, for instance, more examples mean more opportunity to better understand them. The company has released a new web player for Screencast on Chrome OS, as well, allowing users to watch casts in any browser on any platform. Plus, it has expanded language options for Screencast closed captions and for practice sets.
Classes using Meet for online lectures will also find a new and useful feature: Hand raise gesture detection powered by AI. Apparently, when a student raises a hand in real life, the video conferencing app can now automatically activate its Hand Raise icon. In addition, two teachers can now also manage slides concurrently on Meet and co-present lectures together. Google has been growing and improving its education-related tools for years, though it has perhaps kicked things up a notch after schools shut down during the pandemic. It released a slew of updates to make virtual classrooms more usable since then, and it looks like it hasn’t forgotten online-based education even though schools have mostly gone back to in-person learning.