TechnologyText-to-Speech Software (and other great freebies)Text-to-speech software can be a very useful tool for students that experience difficulty reading. Free versions of software are available to download and use on home computers. There are a variety of options available and can be extremely helpful for students trying to navigate text that is filled with content specific vocabulary. Text-to-Speech software can also be helpful when editing essays. Students often catch errors in their writing when they are able to hear their words come alive as it is read back to them. Essentially, any text which can be highlighted and copied from a document, web page, or other digital source can be read aloud using one of these programs. Explore some options below and also check out Quizlet and Socrative Student!
click here for Adobe Acrobat ReaderThis popular program already comes with a built-in "read Aloud" function. PDF files are very popular forms used for textbooks, teacher assignments, and manuals. All of these files can be read aloud by clicking "view", selecting "read out loud", and then "active read out loud".*There is also a shortcut to do this: F9+control+y click here for BalabokaBalaboka is another text-to-speech software that is neat because it can convert text file into an audio file. This can be helpful for a student who does not have time or listen to the entire content in one sitting. This free program allows a student to convert and save the text as a .WAV or.MP3 file that can be played on a computer or mp3 player. Click here for Natural ReaderNatural Reader works with most common applications, including web browsers, word processing, and emails. In toolbar mode, the application remains visible on the screen and selected text is read aloud without having to copy and paste. This is useful when the web page contains important visual material related to the text, such as maps, charts, and photos. This program is great when doing a lot of web-based reading. click here for Word TalkWord Talk is an add-on toolbar that can be installed and added to your toolbar in Microsoft Word. It can be extremely resourceful and convenient to use since it opens in the program itself. The text is also highlighted in color as it reads to help the reader follow along. This program is free and is a great tool for students who are typing and proof reading essays. Click here for QuizletQuizlet is a great website that can help you essentially study for any test. You can create your own vocabulary flashcards, play practice games, play scattered matching games, and track your progress. This resource can be used for English vocabulary, but also for subjects such as, but not limited to: social studies, mathematics, science, and vocabulary specific to elective courses. Click here for Socrative Student AppThe application is a great in-class instructional tool. If students would like to use their cell phone for educational purposes as directed by their teacher within classroom activities, they can download the app for free for Android and Apple smartphone or tablets.