Text to Speech Offers a Ramp to Learning

Imagine what it would be like if computers could be set to speak text easily. Reading difficulties and vision impairments would be much less of an obstacle to learning. This option is now available on Macintosh computers running OS X (ten), and the capability can also be easily added to Windows computers. Students can then have text in front of them on a monitor and easily make the computer speak the text.
To enable this feature in OS 10.4:
• Open “System Preferences”
• Open “Speech”
• Click on the “Text to Speech” tab
• Check the box beside “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”
and designate Apple-period as the keys to activate Text-to-Speech
• Close the “System Preferences” window
Now, just highlighting text and pressing the Apple-period key combination will start the computer speaking.
To obtain the feature in Windows, go to http://www.readplease.com and download the free software. You will need to copy the text, paste it into a place in the ReadPlease software, and press “Play.”

Additional resources: http://del.icio.us/ayale/text-to-speech