Basics - Empowered Learner

Text To Speech

Empowered Learner
book with speaker and an ear for text to speech

Overview

There are FREE amazing tools that will read text to you. These tools help students to listen to what they have written, listen to another person's work, and some will even allow you to transfer the audio to a mp3 player. All the user has to do is copy and paste the text into the program and it will be read aloud when play is pushed! 

Text to speech tools allow you to:

  • Listen to text if you have a reading disability
  • Proof read your own writing
  • Listen to eBooks, articles and websites
  • Rest your eyes and just listen
  • Entertain students by having them listen to the story

Many tools will also read to you in different languages. The tool does not convert the text, but will read the text in a Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch accent for instance. 

Learning Objectives

Student will:

  • Be able to convert text to audio.
  • Understand that listening to one's writing can assist in the writing process.
  • Be able to listen to one's text in a foreign language. 

Vocabulary

  1. Text to Speech: Text to speech is the act of converting text to speech so one can listen to the text being read aloud. 
  2. Convert: To convert is to change the form of something. 

Pre-planning

  • ​Visit the Natural Reader site. Watch the Help Video under the Web Free version. 

  • Practice by adding different types of text into the tool.

  • Listen to the text in different languages. 

  • There are many text to speech converters available and Michigan eLibrary databases have built-in tools that read the articles. 

Note: The premium versions offer the ability to download the text to a mp3 player. 

Accommodations

  • See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students.net site in the Teacher Resources. 
  • The text to speech tools are essential to help students with reading disabilities or who prefer to listen to text. 

Steps

Text to Speech can be used across all grade levels and disciplines. It can be used as an accommodation tool for students with reading disabilities or who prefer to listen to text. It can be used in writing classes for proof reading and foreign language classes to hear text spoken aloud. 

  1. The teacher has a writing assignment for students. 
  2. The teacher introduces Natural Reader or other text to speech tool to students. 
  3. The students copy and paste the text from their writing assignment into Natural Reader. 
  4. The students will listen to their text and then hear their writing mistakes and correct them. 

Assessment Options

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students are able to complete the task of copying and pasting text into a text to speech tool. 

ISTE Standards

Empowered Learner 
1b. Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Devices and Resources

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:
Android Text to Speech

Websites:
Michigan eLibrary

Natural Reader

Text to Speech Online

CONTENT AREA RESOURCES

ELA

  • Students listen to stories that they have written. It is a great proof reading tool. 

Integrated Arts

  • Listen to text read aloud in a foreign language. 

Science

  • Have science articles and text read aloud.

Social Studies

  • Have history articles and text read aloud.

Credits
This task card was created by Melissa White, 21 Things Project Manager, REMC Association of Michigan, February 2018.