Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hear your writing!

Microsoft Word enables you to have text in Word documents read aloud. When using the computers in the library and computer room, simply make sure the Speech toolbar is displayed.

1. On the View menu, click on Toolbars and then click Speech.
2. Select (highlight) the text that you want Word to speak.
3. On the Speech toolbar, click Speak Selection.
4. To stop Word from speaking the text, click Stop Speaking.
(under system preferences, you can change rate of speech and choose different voices)

Why use this? There are a variety of educational applications:

- Students can listen to their writing as part of the editing process. It is common to misread what we have recently wrote, filling in what we intended to say rather than reading what is actually on the computer screen. Having the computer read it allows us to hear the text exactly as it was written and make corrections.
- Students can practice spelling words through another sensory channel. They type their spelling word then type the word a second time with a space between each letter. The computer will read the word first, then read it letter by letter. You may want to slow down the rate of speech for this task.
- Struggling readers can access information on the internet, even if the text is above their reading level. Copy and paste articles of interest into a Word document. Now they can listen to the information. Buy the way, TIME FOR KIDS is online in digital format..allow kids to "listen" if they are not on reading level.

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