Thursday, July 16, 2015

Google Apps and Chromebooks for Special Education and Special Needs

Chromebooks and Google Apps are excellent assistive technology (AT) that help students with special needs access curriculum and information. Google Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store provide many supports to students with learning challenges.

Chromebooks allow students to access curriculum while avoiding their triggers. Online curriculum and resources allow them to work without distraction, which lowers anxiety.

Chromebooks also allow students to access additional resources to support their learning and address their individual needs.

There are specialized web apps, screen readers, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, screen magnifies, curriculum resources, lesson ideas, collaboration tools and so much more.

The following links provide an overview of extension and apps available to support students with special needs.


  • Google Accessibility Features and Resources - resources about all of the accessibility features in all of Google’s products. The Google Products Accessibility site has a list of 18 Google Products with details and links about it's accessibility features.

  • Voice Recognition- Dictate using Google Chrome.  Type with your voice.  Dictation turns your Google Chrome into a speech recognition app.  Students can use Chrome as a voice recognition app and type long documents and essays without touching the keyboard.

  • SpeakIt!- Highlight text you want to read and listen to it.  SpeakIt converts text into speech so that students can access grade-level text even if they are reading at a lower level.

  • Calculators- Visit this Google Web Store page to view a variety of calculators from basic to graphing.

  • Dictionary- DIctionary and Thesaurus Apps and Extensions.

  • Typing Club- The highest rated free typing practice app in the web store.

  • Grammar Checker and Synonym Tool- The Ginger App helps students communicate better.  Students can correct and enhance their writing with support of this App.

  • Collaboration - Google Apps allows for collaboration and sharing so that students can share their work with their Special Ed teacher / Resource Teacher, who can assist remotely, comment, and support the students.
  • Google Classroom - allows teachers to manage classes, share assignments and student work, and to communicate with students. Teachers can share the assignments to their students, the students work on the assignment and submit it back, all electronically. Teachers can view and comment on the student work at any time. Co-teachers/Special Ed Teachers/Resource teachers can be added to the class so that they can also view the student’s work, allowing them track the student’s progress and offer help and comments, even when they are not physically with that student.

  • PowerUp WHAT WORKS - free online resources for struggling students and those with disabilities.


Google Apps and Chromebooks Web App Recommendations - a whole lot!


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