Chrome Apps & Extensions for Diverse Learners with Symbaloo

Chrome SymbalooSymbaloo and – a wonderful platform to store and share resources.  Symbaloo allows teachers to share valuable resources with their students and with each other. The best part is, Symbaloo is easy to use. You can add any link you find on the web to a customized tile, and organize your tiles in different webmixes (categories). You can search for tiles in the Symbaloo’s tile database, and you can search for content curated by other educators in Symbaloo’s gallery.  Check out this Symbaloo with Chrome Apps and Extensions for Diverse Learners!

QR Voice – Create Short Audio Supports Simply!

QR VoiceQRVoice is a tool that allows you to create QR codes that when scanned will play a short  audio message that’s very easy to use.  To create your own QR code you just need to go, type in your message, then click on the mini-qr code icon next to the text field.  A weblink and QR Code will pop up.  Save or copy that QR image for use anywhere you want a student to be able to hear that audio.  Create codes for test/quiz directions, explanation of assignments, task directions, etc.  Any phone, iPad, or computer with a camera will be able to access the code with a QR reader, and hear the audio message.  Simple and Free!

Technology Triage – ATIA 2015

Tech Triage title slideDidn’t get a chance to join us for this session at ATIA 2015?  Find the “Technology Triage:  Managing the Barrage of AT and UDL Tools” here!  Look in on some of my favorite sites, curation tools, and platforms for sharing with other professionals as well as families and students.  Link here to the Google Slides Presentation.

Picto4mePicto4Me is an online Google Chrome application that allows you to create communication and picture boards – free!  Create boards with various size icons, customize with your own pictures, save to your Google Drive, share with others, download as PDF, add audio, play boards with switches, and more!  A great, free online alternative to expensive software.  Link to this YouTube Video for some help getting started.


wikisummarizerWikiSummarizer allows students to access a Visual Knowledge Map on any Wikipedia topic.  While viewing the visual map, students can choose the ‘Short Summary”, “Full Summary”, or explore related terms.  There are added options such as viewing in outline form, keyword cloud, and even adding additional notes or bullets and exporting.  Great UDL tool for topic research.

Newsela – News Stories Accessible to All Reading Levels

NewsELA graphicNewsela is a website and Google Chrome app that publishes daily news articles at 5 reading levels, 3rd-12 grade.  Use the non-fiction content, focused on current events/news with your students, adjusting the text by Lexile Level.  Articles can be assigned to individual students, filtered by grade level or reading standard, and quizzes are provided related to some of the articles.

One additional tip for use of Newsela – copy and paste the content (at the targeted reading level) to a Google Doc, and share with students, or with “Anyone who has the link”,  as “Comment Only”.

  • Provide your own comments within the article, as reading prompts or questions.  Students can respond with comments on the same Doc, or in a separate Doc.

Students can initiate highlights and comments to prompt class conversation and deeper thinking.

Instagrok – Interactive Search Engine

instagrokInstragrok is an interactive search engine, ideally suited for diverse learners.  Its visual interface along with the ability to scale the difficulty level make it a stand out websiteChrome App or iPad App for student investigation, research and exploration of concepts and topics.  Add in the ability to target key facts, view associated videos and images, take notes and access auto-generated quizzes while tracking student progress – and this is a terrific differentiated tool!