This is much easier to see than explain. Here is a fairly typical website:
Nothing unusual - there is the text of the article, but also ads, links, and all sorts of distractions. Here is that same page after clicking the Clearly button:
Ahhh... so much better. All of the distractions evaporate and you can focus on the text.
In addition to the streamlined view, Clearly offers:
- Easy ability to change background color and text size. Why squint or struggle when the view can match you preferred size and style?
- The ability to highlight and add comments (see toolbar on the right). If you come across something useful as you read - highlight it and it is automatically added to your Evernote account This presupposes you use Evernote as a note storage system - which you should consider doing. As a bonus doing this with students - when a note is clipped, the web address is captured as well - no more "I forgot where I found that information"
- Related notes - in the shot above you can see that when I opened the article in the Clearly reading panel, the tool automatically did a search of my existing notes to see if there was anything similar. This has the potential to be a very powerful tool for helping students make text-to-text connections.
As a tool for students, you will have to convince your district IT people to add the extension and Evernote as a tool. Worth doing, but potentially a large undertaking.* If nothing else - give this a test-drive for yourself and I'll bet you won't read the same.
*If you have made a pitch to your districti IT people to add Evernote or Clearly to the general student computer image - please send it to me and I will post it for others to share!
Check out their video: