Introducing Safari Reader: Reduce Distractions on the Web

Why Safari Reader?

The iPad has become a significant, emerging mobile technology in the classroom. Its affordances range from flexibility, easy access and ownership, allowing students to personalize their devices, supporting a constructivist, learner-centred approach (Meyer, 2015). With the rise in iPad usage, I wanted to explore how students with a learning disability could benefit from using a tool to reduce distractions while reading on the device. In Ontario, government funding such as the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) is available, but can have its limitations. It’s ideal to make use of technology that is offered freely or at a minimal cost. Apple’s built-in tool, Safari Reader, removes distractions like ads and strips the page content down to text. Safari Reader makes it easy to adjust the font size and page colour, affordances which have also been shown to reduce cognitive load and improve readability for learners with a disability such as dyslexia (Chen, Keong, Teh, & Chuah, 2015).

Exploring Keynote as a Video Production Tool

Keynote is an application typically used in creating presentation slides. After reading about designers using Keynote to quickly build interactive product demos, I was intrigued. I wondered it if would be possible to use Keynote, to deliver an instructional video with high production values including animations and voice-over recording. If successful, a free application like Keynote (compared to $999+ for industry leader, Articulate 360), could be a ‘game changer’ in itself, in e-learning production. Below is an instructional video I put together, using Keynote, to introduce people to Safari Reader, its core features and benefits.

References

Chen, C. J., Keong, M. W. Y., Teh, C. S., & Chuah, K. M. (2015). Learners with Dyslexia: Exploring their Experiences with Different Online Reading Affordances. Themes in Science and Technology Education, 8(1), 63-79.

Meyer, B. (2015). iPads in inclusive classrooms: Ecologies of learning. In E-learning systems, environments and approaches (pp. 25-37). Springer, Cham.


Note: this video was designed and produced, as a student assignment for the UBC Master of Educational Technology program, ETEC 510: Design of Technology-Supported Learning Environments course.