- Not optional if in 504 plan or IEP
- Oral administration by a real human is best but can be difficult to achieve based on:
- Student reluctance to be singled out
Tools to help with oral administration
iMovie (or similar android app)
Strengths: Very quick and easy to record, upload, and share
Weaknesses: Must be done in advance to allow time for YouTube to process
Read and Write Chrome Extension
Strengths: Text to speech function to read online content, including google docs. Great note taking features for online research. Easy way for students to read assignments shared through google drive. Free premium account for teachers.
Weaknesses: Content must be online. Requires a few minutes to upload your assignment into google drive and share.
Strengths: Can record video alongside anything online on your screen. Perfect for reading uploaded assignments, or demonstrating how to do a math problem. I use to video mini-lessons when I am absent. Uploads to google drive to make it easy to share with students.
Weaknesses: Free account will only allow 10 minutes of recording time.
Natural Reader App - IOS and online
Strengths: Several voices to choose from. Simply click on settings to change the voice and speed of the reader. Several subscription tiers depending on the functions you want. Free version of app will read webpages as well as documents from dropbox, onedrive, google drive, or iCloud. Also has a function to type in text or copy and paste text from another source.
Weakness: OCR is not a feature in the free app, but is available in the premium plus online version. Have not personally tested the feature. Requires advance planning to upload necessary documents for oral administration.
Speechify App - IOS, Android
Strengths: The Chrome Extension will read online material. Voice choices. Can push text from computer to phone to listen away from the computer. The app will read info from web; pdf from dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud; scan and read text live; type in text.
Weaknesses: Can be difficult to get text to scan correctly. In my trial, characters were occasionally dropped from sentences. Must be flat.
Interesting Fact: developed by a dyslexic college student to keep up with his reading load. App is highly recommended in the dyslexia therapist community.
Seeing AI App- IOS
Designed for the visually impaired.
Strengths: Task Cards in the hall - choose “short text” - hover over card to hear the text. Does not require prior preparation. Also has settings to read documents and handwriting.
Weaknesses: Cute fonts aren’t always recognized. Robotic voice may mispronounce a few words. On document setting, voice seems harder to understand.
Prizmo Go App - IOS
Take a snapshot of desired text and prizmo go will read the text.
Strengths: Instant reading of offline documents. App works best when document is completely flat. Use any installed IOS voice. Additional features available as in-app purchases.
Weaknesses: It sometimes took multiple attempts for app to pick up all the text. Voice is definitely “computer.”
Capti App - IOS, Chrome, Windows
Strengths: Has a built in translator. Linked to bookshare and Project Gutenberg. Will access documents from dropbox and google drive in addition to reading from web pages. Converts the text to an audio file or student can follow along with highlighted text. Can share “playlists” with students. Designed with educational needs in mind.
Weaknesses: Premium voices cost extra. Must have “capti coins” to use OCR feature. 50 uses = $5. A higher powered subscription based product available for educators/students.
Claro App - IOS, Android, Chrome, Windows
Strengths: Will read any downloaded document. Can paste URL into search bar to listen to online content. Great option for sharing google doc. Downloaded a premium voice for free that was fantastic. Easy interface. Free.
Weaknesses: Original voice is robotic. Did not highlight text as read.
Voice Aloud Reader App- Android
Strengths: Will read any downloaded document.Highlights text as read. Can format the page (color, font, etc) Web content can be easily shared to device by selecting icon when share option is selected.
Weaknesses: Cannot directly photograph text. Would have to scan and convert to PDF first.
Text Fairy App- Android
Strengths: Take photograph of text and convert to PDF. Use reader app to convert to speech. Work around for the apps that do not convert photographs to text.
Weaknesses: Did not accurately read “fancy” fonts. Also struggled some with multiple columns even though has a specific column feature.
SnapType App- Android, IOS
Strengths: Take photograph of worksheet or forms to complete. Student can type answers, save, and send to you.
Weaknesses: May have difficulty sharing if student does not have email account. Does not have capability to read the worksheet aloud.
Educreations App and Online
Strengths: Quick and easy to use. Use any document, picture, webpage, or image from your camera and add narration. Has the ability to write directly on the document to show students how to complete an assignment. Link can be shared within educreations platform to make accessing content easy for students, but can also be pushed out to youtube.
Weaknesses: Must have ipad to create content