Last week EdGeeks reviewed Dragon Speaking Naturally, a speech-recognition software program, and discussed how it could be used to support writing. Today, I am featuring another possible option for supporting students at home (or in a classroom with computers/laptops). What is so great about today’s post? If you have a computer at home, chances are you probably have Microsoft Word and this post will teach you how to tap into a special function that can revolutionize working with your child!
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Tech Tool: Microsoft Word Speech Function (This function includes both speech-recognition and text-to-speech. This particular review focuses on text-to-speech capabilities since last week’s post was in regards to speech-recognition.)
Description: For those of you who are already proud owners of Microsoft Office…here is a nice tool for you! Microsoft Word has a speech function that allows any Word Document to be read aloud. This is referred to as “text-to-speech” and can be a very helpful tool for readers at any level.
Application in the Classroom: This tool can support readers at all levels by taking a challenging text and reading it aloud. If you have a splitter and headphones, you can potentially have multiple students listening to a text at once.
Concrete Examples of In-Classroom Use: This function can support students in the classroom in many ways. It can:
- Take a challenging text that you have found online and read it aloud
- Read aloud the news
- Read aloud a piece of writing that a student has written
- Support students with editing and revision by playing back the audio version so they can hear what their writing sounds like
Concrete Examples of At-Home Use:
- Help your child with a challenging reading assignment
- Help improve your child’s writing by having him/her listen to the audio version while editing
- Help your child research a topic by copying and pasting the content into a Word Document and using the speech function to read it aloud
- Many teachers now post homework online – download a worksheet and have the instructions to an assignment read aloud
|Step 1: Open a Microsoft Word Document|
|Step 2: Type an original text or copy and paste a text from an online resource|
|Step 3: Click View, Toolbars, Speech (See photo below)|
|Step 4: Highlight the text that you would like to be read aloud|
|Step 5: Go to the speech box and click on the microphone icon|
|Special Note: If you go into system preferences you have a lot of options for the speech function including both text-to-speech and speech-recognition functions. (See photo below)|