How do I love thee, Google Chrome? Let me count the ways…
On the weekend, my love affair with Google Chrome was the subject of a humorous exchange on Twitter. I was surprised to discover that my friend @imalloryb was unaware of just how much I appreciate Google’s browser. So here’s a quick post that will reframe points I’ve made here before. But first and just for fun…here’s the video that prompted the Twitter comments–a wonderfully soppy commercial for Google Chrome.
Google Chrome is leaner and faster than any other browser I’m aware of, but that’s not what has me enamoured. It’s Chrome’s add-ons that have won me over, especially the add-ons that make the Internet more accessible for individuals who face all kinds of challenges and barriers. Google Chrome offers tools to support such a wide range of learning needs that I’m convinced it should be introduced to ALL learners everywhere.
The following are just a few of the helpful add-ons available in the Chrome Web Store. (I’ve linked each add-on below to a post where I’ve provided more detail.)
- Speakit for reading web pages out loud with excellent text-to-speech
- Voice Search for using voice-to-text to search. (Voice Search knows how to spell whatever it is you are looking for!)
- ChromeVis for magnifying text on web pages and adjusting colour and contrast of background relative to text on a website.
- Readability Redux for reducing clutter and adjusting font size, margins and text style on web pages.
- Google Dictionary for quick and convenient definition of any word on a web page.
- Speech Recognizer for versatile voice to text or voice recognition.
Finally, and this is really important…
…where Google Chrome is not available, there is a portable version of Google Chrome. This can be loaded on, and run from, a flash drive, along with whatever add-ons are needed. This means the user has access to Chrome on any Windows computer anywhere. This is especially helpful at public libraries, on school computers where Google Chrome has not been loaded, at a freind’s home when I’m doing homework, etc.