Tools for Reading & Writing
Time 1.8 hrs
Prerequisites Free Learning For Students
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Ross Parker
Minimum Year Group None
Reading and writing don't always come easily: the tools shared here can help you if you struggle in these areas.
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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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Google Docs
- 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 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.
Not Comic Sans
- Although it does not help everyone, some people with dyslexia find the font below (called OpenDyslexic) easier to read:
- If you find this helps you, there is a Google Chrome Extension that allows you to use this on any webpage.
- 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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