Before my doctoral studies, routine reading in my life was practically nonexistent. I became very bored with reading and spent most of the time re-reading the same page over and over and thinking of the million other things I could’ve been doing. I am a very active person by nature in the sense that I must be moving constantly, so I personally felt that reading was a hindrance to my innate need to move. I love to learn, however, and I am constantly seeking ways to expand any type of knowledge but in unconditional ways outside of reading. I spent most of my pre-doctoral life thriving off of podcasts, documentaries, and following specialists in education, technology, and productivity on YouTube. In a way, it was my version of mini audiobooks that allowed me to learn on the go. I still do this almost every day, but I have learned that it does not work in doctoral studies for research, articles, and books. Reading is a daily occurrence that, in academia, also requires a specific skill set. Although I do not have any documented reading or attention-based disability, I have learned in the past two years how to cope with my reading difficulties and still be successful in my studies. In higher education, journals, articles, and online text become inevitable. The online advertisements, including ones on my own page, can be daunting and distracting while trying to read.
As a Google Chrome user and technology advocate in special education, I have found that the extension “Just Read” has multiple uses not only in my professional life but also in the lives of my special education and 504 students who struggle with reading and/or focus, including students with ADHD or ADD. “Just Read” removes all external distractions and leaves only the primary text. This includes advertising, busy website headers, non-relevant images, the fine print, and much more. I highly recommend checking out the video link here https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/just-read/dgmanlpmmkibanfdgjocnabmcaclkmod?hl=en. It has been a life-changer! If you are an educator please feel free to share this resource with your students. If you are a researcher or work in higher education, I recommend downloading for personal, instructional, and/or professional use to ease the stress on the eyes and increase overall reading productivity. I challenge you to pick any link on the web, download the extension, and in one click everything is gone except for clear, organized, and distraction-free reading material. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.