Review: Snap and Read

It seems that many teachers and educational administrators’ daily lives now consist of a substantial amount of time researching and testing technological remedies for the forced online dilemma we are now faced with. The amount of information and options available can be overwhelming, but the Paths to Technology blogs can be quite helpful for TVI’s in separating the chaff from the wheat. I consult PTT often and recommend it to all my TVI colleagues. Thank you, Diane Brauner. 

While researching text to speech options, I encountered Snap&Read, recommended to me by another educator. Snap&Read is a reading tool that reads both accessible and inaccessible text aloud, levels vocabulary, and translates, delivering usage data to teachers for assessing students’ reading needs individually. I will say here at the beginning of this review that I found it was NOT accessible in terms of use and navigability for the blind although it was suggested for my review by a TVI, so if blind navigability is a requirement for this otherwise possibly useful tool, it is not appropriatel. 

However, Snap&Read does have some very useful features for students with other types of visual impairment and special cognitive needs, as I tested it I thought the applicability for CVI students was particularly notable:

  • Speak- Click and then click where you want to start speaking, or highlight the text you want spoken and click
  • Read Aloud-Listen to text as it’s read aloud across websites, PDFs, and Google Drive. It also reads in other languages.
  • Dynamic Text Leveling-Dynamically adjust the readability of text without changing the meaning.
  • Translate text into 100+ languages on any webpage. 
  • Study Tools-Pull text into an outline, then organize it and add notes.
  • Remove Distractions-improves text readability with the Remove Distractions feature. A single click gets rid of distracting content and adjusts fonts, spacing and number of characters per line creating the best online reading experience possible. The Remove Distractions tool also reformats any webpage to read—distraction-free—alongside an open outline. This is very useful for CVI students. 
  • Color Overlay/Reading Line Guides-Snap&Read Color Overlay and Reading Line Guides brings focus to text paragraph-by-paragraph and even line-by-line—by masking the reading area, another useful feature for CVI students.
  • Picture Supported Dictionary-Clear definitions plus MULTIPLE icon representations enhance meaning. Use tools to better understand definitions—read aloud, Dynamically Text Leveling, and Translation.
  • Bibliographer-Automatically cite sources on any webpages
  • Screenshot Reader-Instantly get access to text embedded in images, inaccessible PDFs, and Flash through Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  • Readability Analyzer-See the grade level equivalent of the text on any webpage.
  • Screenshot reader-If you can't select the text, no worries, screenshot it. Click  and draw a box around the text, and we'll do the rest.
  • Annotation-Highlight and add text to PDFs then save to Google Drive, One Drive, or download.
  • Data Collection-Quickly see how much students are reading and the readability levels of the what they read.
  • Simplify-Want to simplify difficult passages and vocabulary? Click  and then click where you want to start simplifying text, or highlight the text you want simplified and click
  • Translate-If your primary language is not English, use the "Options" to set your primary language. Then click  and select the text you want translated, or highlight the text you want translated and click
  • Capture-Create outlines, organize information, highlight text, and cite sources. Drag and drop from your outline makes writing easy.

Snap&Read works as a Google Chrome Extension for Chromebooks, Mac, and Windows desktops running the Google Chrome Browser, an iPad App (an added benefit is camera OCR with an iPad, allowing for taking a picture of text on a page and reading it aloud, and as a Microsoft Edge Extension on Windows machines. It also will work with PDFsthe Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader, and Bookshare. Online, one can browse any webpage, and use Snap&Read’s toolbar to “understand everything on the page” according to the developers.

It is free to try, $3.99 monthly for individual license.