As an educator and a mom of a child with a processing disorder, the tech tool of the month has me giddy with excitement! How many times do we have texts that may be too challenging or wordy for our special needs students? SMMRY takes a longer passage and summarizes the key points in up to seven easy to digest sentences.
To use SMMRY, simply copy and paste the text into the text box provided or upload a PDF file or URL. When finished click Summarize. There is also the engaging Settings option. (If you aren’t already impressed with this tool – get ready). In the Settings option you have numerous options: Avoid Questions, Avoid Quotations, Heat Map, Specify Topic, and more. Just click the boxes for the options that you would like to use. There is also a choice above the text box to summarize the text in a different number of sentences (for example three sentences rather than the standard seven). You have the control in various aspects of this incredibly useful tool.
So why is this tool so helpful? My first instinct was to compartmentalize this tool with special needs students. It is very useful in helping those students unable to process a large amount of text. It makes the class reading more accessible to all ability levels. This would be extremely useful with limited language speakers (such as ESL). However, this tool could be useful to all students and at all levels. Beyond just summarizing, this is also a great tool to use to teach the main idea. You could put a lesson from your online science textbook into SMMRY to help all students find the main idea. As you discuss the main idea, share this tool with students and demonstrate how to find the main idea (or summarize the text). Challenge students to summarize a story or topic from a content area on their own. Compare their written summaries to what SMMRY provides on the same topic. Was it accurate? On a professional level, you could put PDFs or URLs in SMMRY and see if it is a resource that would be useful to your professional learning by reading a quick summary.
One final note about SMMRY, you can save your work. However, saving does require a FREE registration. And on that note….. I am off to help my middle child summarize an online article on Mesopotamia.