Tools for Reading & Writing
Time 1.8 hrs

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Free Learning For Students
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Ross Parker
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None

Blurb

Reading and writing don't always come easily: the tools shared here can help you if you struggle in these areas.

License

This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC

Outline

Credits
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.
  • Screen reading thumbnail image by macrovector on freepik under Freepik License.

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5 mins
Introduction
TTS and STT
  • This unit will focus on two types of technology:
    • Text-to-speech which helps you to read.
    • Speech-to-text which helps you to write.
  • There is some reading involved in the unit, but feel free to ask your teacher if you are stuck.
20 mins
Text-to-Speech
TTS
  • There are many ways for your computer to read to you, but a good place to start is NaturalReader, which allows you to read any text in Google Chrome:

  • Let's get started by installing Natural Reader's Chrome Extension, on either your Mac or Chromebook, as shown in the video below:

  • Once installed, use NaturalReader to read the remainder of this unit to you, to get used to it.
  • Adjust the voice and speed settings to suit your needs.
  • NaturalReader's online tool can also read PDFs: it requires registration, but is free.
45 mins
Speech-to-Text
STT
  • For speech-to-text we have a few more options, each of which is good for different things:
    • Google Docs
      • This only works when using Google Chrome, but is as simple as going to Tools > Voice Typing, clicking the microphone and then speaking:

 




    • Otter
      • Otter is like the Google Docs Voice typing tool, but is better in terms of punctuation.
      • Use this PDF guide to access, sign up for and use Otter.
    • Mac
      • Mac computers have a STT tool called Dictation built in. If you go to  > System Preferences and then Keyboard, you can see how to enable and use it:

  • Take some time to play with these tools, to see which work for you.
10 mins
OpenDyslexic Font
Not Comic Sans
  • Although it does not help everyone, some people with dyslexia find the font below (called OpenDyslexic) easier to read:

30 mins
Finishing Up
Evidence
  • In finishing up this unit, use a speech-to-text tool of your choosing to create a Google Doc that tells us what you've learned here, which tools you like, and what challenges you still have.
  • We'll use your ideas to keep improving this unit.
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