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What is structal and how does it work? (3 min)

(Don't need an overview or want to get started with using structal right away? Check out this quick start article instead.)

Thanks so much for you interest in structal!

So what exactly is structal and what does it do for you students and you?

structal is a reading Chrome Extension

You and your students will download a Chrome Extension to use structal.

A Chrome Extension is an app that runs inside of your Chrome/Microsoft Edge browser. It makes your browser extra powerful. In our case, it makes reading a lot easier for students and planning easier for you.

Once the extension is added, you'll see a yellow bubble with an "S" inside of it. When you click on the bubble, the extension will be activated.

This extension supports literacy in three ways:

  1. Highlighting areas of a text where students might struggle. Students can then hover over the highlight and see a support. This helps them to understand where to start building their understanding if they're struggling to read.

2. Allowing students to double click on any word in a text and see a definition, translation, hear the word read aloud, and even a picture. This helps them to build their vocabulary and to learn to break down text to build their understanding. It also helps them build confidence.

Note for World Language Teachers: When reading in a language other than English (Spanish, French, Italian), students will only be able to get a translation for one word at a time.

3. Taking all the places your students ask for support and turning that data into actionable reports like our word cloud. This allows the teacher to better target their re-teaching, diagnose why a lesson went wrong, and easily develop targeted vocabulary instruction so their students understand what they read.

Low effort, high impact

Once your students install the extension, you as the teacher don't need to do anything additional with structal for students to keep getting help. That's right, no additional work. We know that the last thing you need is another thing on your plate.

There are some other features we think will save you more time and make you more effective but those can wait until you and your students get more comfortable with structal.

It works on digital texts your students read

Our Chrome Extension should work on any website or PDF. There's even a way to make Google Docs and Slides compatible with structal!

We realize that's a little different than some other tools you may have used that only work with certain articles, books, or other content. structal works with any content. This lets you keep teaching what you want to teach while our Chrome Extension adds reading support right on top of the resources you want to use, saving you planning time and helping your students learn more effectively.

Note: Some publishers (we're looking at you textbook publishers, e-readers, and games) hide their content from your web browser, so structal will not work on these sites. For more details see this article.

It provides reading support to your students

These supports are based on the latest literacy research to help your students understand what they read. When they understand what they read better, you answer fewer basic questions and your students build the confidence they need to succeed in your class.

There is also a teacher dashboard

The teacher dashboard, which you will see when you sign up, lets you to create your classes and see insights into where your students are struggling with what they read.

Built by a former teacher in collaboration with teachers

Our founder Mike, is a former 6th grade ELA teacher. Teacher and student feedback has driven every decision we've made. It will continue to do so. We will work tirelessly to make sure structal is effective for you and your students.

Now that you have a sense of what structal does, head over to this quick start article to get started.