For today’s tech snack, I would like to discuss a web tool that helps eliminate the “extras” so that students can concentrate on the information they are being given.
Today’s tech snack can be found at the following url: https://mind.im/reader/
What is it and how does it work?
This tool is a web based app that takes online articles and removes any ads, or extra items that exist in the page. The app converts the page so that you get a clean readable version of the site.
Using the site if very simple. First, you make a free account which requires an active email account. An activation link will then be sent to the email you provided and then you are able to use the tool.
Once you are logged into the tool, you click on the plus sign and then either type the url you want to convert or copy and paste the link. After you enter the url, press the enter key on your keyboard. The page is then converted to a readable, clean version without ads or pop ups. On this clean page, you can bookmark items, and highlight important information as well as add commentary about the item. If you add commentary to an item, a speech bubble shows up on the side of the page to indicate a comment has been added.
Now, what makes this tool innovative is that you can share any converted page as a url link. The link can be shared via email, social media platform or in your LMS. When you share the link, the students can see the clean version with the highlights you have made. Students do not have to have an account or use the app to read the content in a shared page.
Accessibility of the product
This tool is very simplistic in its design and is handy because it removes the distractions that exist in many websites. Both disabled and non-disabled people can benefit from this as they both can have access to the same information and therefore, they can perceive and understand the content being shared. In terms, of accessibility, it is a mixed bag in terms of how it fared when scored using the Web 2.0 score card.
In summary, converted pages can be understood and read by screen readers. Font and color can be adjusted to meet the needs of the user and converted pages can be shared and used on any device without having to have an account. There is no audio component, no accessibility statement on the page and the tool cannot be navigated using just a keyboard. The tool can be used on any Internet enabled device and can be used with a stylus, mouse or finger.
So this is a good tool for getting just the content to your students, though it needs some work to be fully accessible for all.
Until next time at the café…….