In an effort to support children with learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD, Google this week introduced reading mode, a customizable view coming to the Chrome browser’s side panel.
By reducing on-screen distractions like bright images or flashing videos, it aims to help users focus primarily on the text. Whether scanning an assigned passage or perusing a friend’s latest blog post, reading mode allows people to customize typeface, font size and spacing, and text and background color.
Reading mode “makes reading more accessible for millions of kids with dyslexia and other learning differences,” Nathan Friedman, co-president of Understood.com, a Google nonprofit partner. “And it gives parents and educators a powerful tool to support struggling readers.”
Reading mode will roll out to the Chrome browser in ChromeOS version 114, which is currently scheduled to roll out in May.
Google is also enhancing its Screencast tool(Opens in a new window), which lets teachers and students record classes or presentations and store them in Google Drive. Screencast supports automatic transcription and translation, and Google is now adding support for a dozen new languages, including Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish. Plus, demo tools will let students and teachers animate clicks and taps and highlight any keyboard shortcuts they use on the screen. Look for the updates in ChromeOS 112 next month.
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Students will be able to check out these new features on 13 new education-focused Chromebooks from Dell, HP, and more. The Dell Latitude 5430 and the HP Dragonfly Elite have touch screens and styluses, but schools can also pick up an Acer Chromebook Vero 712, Asus Chromebook CR11 Flip, or Lenovo 100e Chromebook Gen 4, which feature screens ranging in size from 12 to 17 inches.
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