Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Differentiate Reading Material with Rewordify.com

Whenever I am presenting to a group of educators, I like to end our time together by showing a web tool that is easy to use, free, and can immediately impact a classroom.  Typically, I show them Rewordify.com.

What does it do?
Rewordify.com basically makes material that is difficult for students to read (due to vocabulary content) easier to read by changing some of the wording within the text.  For example, if your class is reading an online article that uses the word "celestial", once "rewordified" with the free online software, the software will replace the word "celestial" with "heavenly."  The word "humbling" is changed to the phrase "making a person realize that he or she is not the greatest thing in the world."
Webpage viewed through Rewordify

How does this work?
Rewordify.com is a free on-line software program.  Just visit a website of your choice, copy the URL, then visit rewordify.com.  Paste your copied URL link into the yellow text box located at the top of rewordify.com's webpage, and then select "rewordify text."  Your article will now appear on screen.  You will notice highlighted words or phrases- these are the words and phrases that have been modified.  Not using an online article?  No worries!  Rewordify.com also lets you copy and paste text or type in your own body of text to be rewordified...you can then print or save and share your product with others.

Customize
One of my favorite things about rewordify.com is that you do not have to lose access to original content of a piece of text.  Customization settings allows the user to decide how they would like their re-worded words to appear within the text through display settings.  If you choose a reverse highlighted display setting, you will see words highlighted that the software believes might be hard for you to read or know the meaning to; just hover your mouse over those highlighted words to see a modified vocabulary term or brief explanation of the word.  Two-column viewing will display your article/text into two columns; the left hand side of the screen will display your original content, and the right hand side of the screen will show the "rewordified" version of your text.  Choose from nine different display settings to customize your view of the reworded text.

Customization can also be set to different levels, depending on how much of the vocabulary you would like reworded.  Level 1 will reword almost all "hard words"; Level 4 will reword the top 40% "hardest words" detected within the text.  Want to get really fancy?  Within the customization settings you can even specify which words you would like reworded, and provide the word or phrase you would like to take it's place.

View of customization settings


In the Classroom Setting
An educator can either teach their students how to independently use rewordify.com to customize their own reading material, or the educator can create a piece of text ahead of time and save the rewordified URL and their customization settings to use with students for later.  I love this option because it allows a teacher to quickly customize a piece of text for students depending on their needs in the classroom.  For example, you might have a piece of text that contains many metaphors or idioms.  This might be difficult for a student with autism to read and interpret without support.  But with rewordify, a teacher can type in explanations of the metaphors and idioms through the customization settings.  When the student later goes to read through the piece of text, they will have access to the hidden meanings behind the metaphors and idioms on the page.

Did I mention that they have a Classics section, which provides access to public domain books?  Many of these titles are literature works assigned to classrooms.  Students just need to click on the Classics icon, then click on the link to their book in order to access a reworded version of their assigned text.

Under Classics, choose a book to be reworded

View of a novel that has been reworded



Rewordify.com is easy to use and includes demonstration videos to help you get to know the product.  But just in case you need an extra helping hand, here is access to cheat sheets I have created for classroom use:
Using Rewordify to Customize Internet Text
Using Rewordify With Your Own Text




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  6. Wow! This article is really useful! There are some situations I need to reword text too. But now this problem is solved!

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