Today, we're excited to announce the release of the new and improved Read&Write for Google Chrome.
Digital classrooms and instructional content have evolved a lot since Read&Write first launched back in 2013. Read&Write has also evolved since then. It's been there to support students wherever they are - from Google Docs and Word Docs, to Learning Management Systems. Today’s update marks a huge step forward in this evolution.
We’ve been hard at work updating Read&Write to the latest and greatest infrastructure. We've made sure that it complies with Google’s newest security and performance standards for Chrome extensions. While ‘under the hood’ work may not sound riveting (unless you’re one of our developers), trust us when we tell you that it means big enhancements to the way you and your students experience Read&Write.
Read on to learn more about what’s included in this exciting update.
Read&Write now works in more places and more environments than ever before. You’ll notice major improvements in the way the toolbar works in popular Learning Management Systems. Notable examples include quizzes in Canvas and content pages in D2L Brightspace. In D2L Brightspace, one streamlined Read&Write toolbar now works across all areas of your course.
Have you ever wanted to use Read&Write to read aloud or type in a comment? Well now you can. Read&Write now works inside the comments feature in Google Docs, Google Slides, and Word Online.
Students can use text to speech to read a comment aloud, or use word prediction and Talk&Type to help them write a comment. Comments are great for collaboration and real-time feedback when working in Google and Microsoft 365. Now Read&Write can support students there as well as inside documents and slides themselves.
One of our most popular requests from educators has been to have the ability for students to dictate in Google Slides - inside the slides themselves - not just the Speaker Notes. And now you can. Just click the Talk&Type button, and you can dictate into textboxes in your slides. Read&Write is used most in Google Slides, so we're excited to provide even better support to students in the places where they work.
We've also been able to add a few other commonly requested features. You can now adjust whether your Prediction words and Check It spelling suggestions are read aloud when you hover over them. Some users love the read aloud support, and others would prefer to go without it - now it can be used either way. Just head to your ‘Prediction’ or ‘Check It’ settings to customize your own experience.
While the Read&Write toolbar hasn’t changed much, you’ll notice we gave it a little refresh.
We’ve introduced a brand new, more intuitive icon for the Translator tool. You’ll find it and all the other features in the same place they’ve always been, now with an updated look and feel.
There’s also a new Dark Mode toolbar theme, which you can turn on in the Settings menu. You can even set Read&Write to follow your default device settings for using Light or Dark Mode.
All of these great new features and enhancements will be rolling out gradually to our 36 million Read&Write users. It will be an automatic update to your Read&Write extension, so you don’t need to take any action. If you don’t have Read&Write installed yet, you can grab it from the Chrome Store here.
If you wish, you can manually update Read&Write from the Extensions page in Chrome, or just uninstall and reinstall the extension.
If you’ve had Read&Write pushed out to your account by IT or your Admin, you may not be able to do this. But don’t worry, the update will make its way out to all our users soon.