Team Teaching with a Leopard

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 I opened the resource site I found. We thought of some ‘things we wanted to know’ and I hit the hot key. She listened once, she talked about it and asked questions, then did it again.

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.



One thought on “Team Teaching with a Leopard

  1. Dean, that is such a cool, creative use of such an overlooked Leopard feature. One to share.

    Now if they’d just make a speech-to-text program worth its salt, we’d have lots of crappy writers but great speakers making much better grades in schools.

    (And while I’m at it, let me put in a wish for a Korean-English speech-to-speech interpreter. Listening, Apple?)

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