AT for reading
Assistive Technology for Reading
Think books on tape. Instead of having to read things themselves, students can have basically anything read to them. We want them to be able to be able focus on the content of what they read, not the decoding. These programs allow kids to access grade level fiction books, text books, web pages, etc.
Bookshare is a program from the National Center for the Blind. Basically every book and text book in the world is available on it. Any individual with a disability can sign up and download as many books and textbooks as they want.
Read2Go is the program on the iPad that lets them listen to the books—they come in a Daisy format and Read2Go reads that format. On the computers, the kids can use a couple of programs to read the books. Check out their site for what programs work.
Recently Bookshare has begun to include images in the downloads which means that popular books like Diary of a Wimpy Kids actually work on the program. Also, once the books are downloaded kids don’t need the internet to listen to the stories and their books stay in their library as long as they want them.
Here is the catch: The narration is by a computerized voice. That means that the program is awesome for older students who want to read the cool books and can cope with the weird voices. The program doesn’t work with younger students who can’t get into the stories because it sounds like a robot is reading the stories.
Read & Write from Text Help:
Read & Write is an AMAZING new feature for Chrome that helps with reading and writing. For reading—this program will read any web page to a student. They highlight the section they want read and hit play—that’s it! It allows students be independent while doing internet research which is so vital both for their skills development and for a teacher’s sanity.
FarFaria: is an app for iPads that lets kids listen to books. They can choose the type of book from Fairly Tales to zombie stories and listen as professional narrators read the stories. The stories are narrated and the program does a nice job of highlighting words as the narrator reads. I use this for my younger students—the students who are too young for Bookshare. They REALLY love it and it is the top requested program in my room. You can favorite stories to read off line but the program works better with an internet connection.
Raz-Kids is from Reading A-Z which is one of the best sites anywhere for teachers. Raz-Kids is a collection of e-books that students can listen to, read on their own, and take tests on. Teachers can assign the level of the books and students earn reward points by reading. Kids love it. The program only works with an internet connection.