Saturday, April 12, 2008

Live Ink & Clip Read

Live Ink Allows Easier Tracking and Reading

I was reading over some great comments on the bottom of yesterday's post on Electronic Book Resources. (If you missed them, go back and read them!) I was sharing them with a colleague at his house while smelling BBQ ribs in his smoker on the back deck - we are having 78 degree afternoon weather today and pretending summer is here!
He asked me if I had seen Live Ink. I said I hadn't. He showed me this service that allows you to copy and paste any text into a reader and it breaks it up for a view that is much easier on the eyes. Check it out here (Live Ink). They have a fun demo to see how it works.
I recently went through a study on the foveal vs. the peripherary view. It was being applied to web design, but the concept applies to the way Live Ink and the Clip Read Reader work. Your foveal view is circular. When you read or scan a page, you only see a small diameter around the pin-point of your focus. The eyes do a lot of jumping and scanning to pick up details. With the Live Ink concept, words aren't linear like they are in a book or on a computer screen. They almost look like a poem with no more than 4 or 5 words to a line and the lines may be staggered depending on the content.
It is much easier to read this way, especially if your eyes have a hard time tracking long lines of text. I have students that can't track a line of text at all and need to see words in sets of 2 or 3 at a time move across the window for them. I would like to try this service for the 30 day free trial. It costs $89 for a year - kind of spendy maybe, but if you have a hard time tracking, since you can use this with all your web reading and ebook text, it could be a great help. If you read reports or briefs or technical documents all day on a computer, I would definitely check it out.

All the best to you - It's time to enjoy some ribs!



narrator said...

I always tell teachers that the easiest (and cheapest) way to limit the number of words per line for students who need that is to simply make the text much larger in MS Word, Lotus Symphony, or Google Docs. 48 point gets you 3 or 4 words, 36 point, 4 to 6.

I'm always amazed that no one teaches teachers that simple trick.

narrator said...

Of course with web sites, in Firefox, simply press Ctrl and "+" repeatedly until you have the limited number of words per line that you need. It works on accessible sites, f course, too often that does not include school sites.