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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Google Chrome: The Perfect UDL Browser?

I have to admit it, I've been holding out. I've resisted the urge to try Google Chrome. I've always been a Firefox type of guy. Can't stand Internet Explorer, but love Firefox. Then the other day I couldn't take it anymore. I tried Google Chrome and you know what? I liked it.

It made me think about how Google Chrome could help all of the students that we have in our classrooms today. From the gifted student to the student with a learning disability, how can Google Chrome help?
  • Simplicity - buttons, icons, toolbars, menus, more icons, and more buttons. Let's face it, many of our browsers have become overly complicated. Google Chrome is quite simplistic, which may take away the confusion that our younger learners experience when they are searching the web. Chrome is a great browser for your visual learners because the set up is very simplistic. 
  • Omnibox - we are so used to typing www.something in the address bar. Chrome allows you to do your search in the address bar (aka Omnibox), making things even simpler! This is one less step, instead of going to www.google.com. You can still type in your web addresses too! Keep in mind, other browsers have this feature too. 
  • Voice Search - allows our students to say what they are looking for instead of typing it. Now before you  go and say that it promotes laziness, think about it for a second. I had a legally blind student named Ritchie. He had me for Computer Applications. He was expected to use a computer, but needed zoom software to see. This voice search would have been perfect for him, because it would have made Internet Research a tad bit easier. This is a perfect tool for our struggling readers, dyslexic students, low functioning students, or auditory learners. 
  • Most Visited Pages - just open up a new tab and Chrome will give you a list of your most visited websites. Sure, you could check your browsing history in another browser. But Chrome visually organizes information for our visual learners. 

To read more about Chrome's features, click here. 

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