Apple OSX Leopard has a very good text to speech tool. You can highlight any text on any page then have it speak using one of Apple’s latest voices. Not much is said about Apple’s text to speech, but here’s how I’ve been using it.
You enable it from the system preferences – click the icon called ‘speech’. Then set a hot key for text to speech – I use ‘control+\.
As students get tired of ‘the teacher voice’ I use Leopard to team teach and do the talking for me. Being Apple, it just works, so I don’t need to fiddle with it.
I get OSX to do the narration parts for me. It grabs their attention and seems to aid recall. They appear to do more ‘active’ listening.
I gave this ago with my tech-savvy 4 year old using VoiceThread. In fact my 7 year old was asked to write a report on Tassie Devils using some Edumacator worksheet.
My daugther said she’d give it a go too. So we looked for a few photos on Google, dropped then into VoiceThread and were ready to go in a minute or so.
Next we started to record on VoiceThread and she did a recall. She is 4. She knows that she can re-record it (tech-kid) and then we did another page, this time she pressed the buttons.
Heres the result.
So for classes where there are lots of texts, especially if you’re using and IWB, you can start to team teach with a Leopard … give it a go, it’s a no brainer.