Voice Dream Reader and Writer: Activities for Student Buy-In

As many AT Specialists and Special Education teachers are aware of, an app is just app until a student is willing to use it as it was intended.  I have sat through many “App Presentations” over the years and think it is critical as teachers and AT specialists, we begin to teach each other to think about sharing idea on activities in which the students can use a specific app to complete a task.  This is an ongoing exploration and topic of point I keep looking for in my own pedagogue as well as with my fellow colleagues.

Today I am going to highlight two apps created for students with visual impairments for the purpose of reading and writing:  VoiceDream Reader and Writer.

Screenshot 2015-02-07 at 6.15.11 AM

VoiceDream Writer is a word processing app with voice over features that include the following:

  • A word processing app with a variety of audio settings that can be customized to the needs of the user

 

  • Proof reading settings offer the user the ability to choose between proof reading settings that read for details (grammar, punctuations, etc) and reading naturally (reads the text at natural rate)

 

  • Visual settings include a variety of magnification and large contrast options

 

  • Dictionary options for students with print disabilities (word search search  based on definition of text, phonetic spelling, etc)

 

  • Speech to Text Options

Activity Ideas for Student Buy-In

  • Students compose text for a status update using VoiceDream Writer to put into a Twitter, Facebook Status Update or Text to friend

 

  • Students compose an email to a famous person using VoiceDream Writer and then emails it to him or her

 

  • Composing invitations for a social gathering

 

  • Have students insert text into a teacher or parent made Mad Libs word processing document

 

  • Compose text for a student’s favorite recipe or music lyrics

Screenshot 2015-02-22 at 7.54.23 AM

VoiceDream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is a reading app with adapted voice over features for people with visual impairments. These features include:

  • Customized Audio and Visual Settings

 

  • Reading Speeds range from 100-400 words per minute

 

  • Visual Themes: White on Black and Black on White

 

  • Document Editing Capabilities

 

  • Customized document playlist available

 

  • Extracts files from web browser, Bookshare, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc

Activities for Student Buy-In

  • Export your child or student’s favorite blogs, food recipes or ebooks and create a playlist for them to buy into the idea of using this app.  Then have them create several playlists for their various school subjects and free reading

 

  • Teach your child about the various apps that can be used with Voice Dream, let them do some research on each app that can be exported in the app and choose which one they would like to use in conjunction with Voice Dream Reader

 

  • Encourage them to use the app during silent reading times in their school routine. Make sure to give them head phones
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