Monday, April 30, 2012

iPad as a personal reader

I got turned on to this really cool tip a few weeks ago. iPad has a setting with its newest updates that allows you to highlight text that you want read to you. It doesn't work in all apps, like Kindle, but it works well through Safari and a ton of third-party apps. And the voice is really engaging. I think it's probably the sister of the guy who does the automated storm warnings. Here's how you set it up:

Go to the "Settings" app and choose "General". Scroll down to "Accessibility". You'll need to turn on two things: First, turn on "Speak Auto-text". Then turn on "Speak Selection".

Inside "Speak Selection", you can change the rate of speech. It uses the classic "tortoise and the hare" rating system similar to lawn mowers. 

Now you're set up. Within your app, highlight the text you would like read. When you lift, you should see options. If this feature is enabled in your app, "speak" will be one of your choices. Choose it, and you will hear your text. Of course, you can change the volume to suit your needs. 

I've suggested this to many teachers who have students who can't read well enough to access necessary information. What a great way to support students through a research process. 

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