(old SPED.HTM page)
(gradebooks, puzzle makers,
proper hardware and software, the computer can create speech from text
on the screen. The process is called speech
synthesis or text-to-speech.
SimpleText (OS 9) and TextEdit (OS X) are free programs
that come with Macintosh computers. They can read all or part of any
"text" file in several voices. SimpleText
and TextEdit are not exactly
like a word processing program, because they do not have many of the
features (no spell check, no bulleted lists, no columns, etc). They
will allow students to type stories, and will bring in other text files
(such are those from the Gutenberg Project described below).
To try out the speech ("text-to-speech") features of SimpleText...
TextEdit (newer Mac systems) is
slightly different. The program should be in the Applications-->Utilities folder. You should still
begin by typing something. Then choose Speech-->Start Speaking from the Edit menu. You may be able change
voices in System Preferences-->Speech-->Default Voice.
SimpleText or TextEdit. If you cannot find it,
use Command F to search for it. Notice that the name contains no spaces.
one or two sentences.
all or part of the text you have just typed.
- From the Sound menu, choose Speak Selection. NOTE: You can also
highlight nothing and choose Speak All
from the Sound menu. Choose a
different voice (Sound-->Voices) and speak all or a selection
again. NOTE: The voices "Carlos" and "Catalina" are written to
correctly pronounce Spanish.
< style="font-family: helvetica,arial,sans-serif;">
- When you find a voice
you like, ask your students to type a story and have the computer read
it to them.
You can download (copy form the Internet) free copies of text-to-speech
programs for Windows. Look for Microsoft
or Natural Voice Text to Speech
Reader (available from
http://www.tucows.com/ - use the search feature to find it).
Copies of Books and Other
Publications (to have the computer read to your students)
Project Gutenberg has collected text file versions of many books,
stories, poems, etc. that are in the public domain (i.e., they are not
currently published commercial texts). You can download text files
(copy them to your computer) for free. You may need to divide them up
to into sections to be read (some text editors cannot hold many pages
at once). If so, you can open the Gutenberg files in a word processing
program, copy a section, and paste it into a new SimpleText (or other text-to-speech
program) document. You can find these files at http://promo.net/pg/ (there are
several other sites as well - see Teachers-->Online
Books). Remember, if you are looking for current literature (like the
Harry Potter series), you will not find it there.
Making a Talking Book with PowerPoint
If you have access to the PowerPoint
program (part of Microsoft Office), you can make a "talking book." You
can use PowerPoint to make
slides shows. Think of each slide as a page (or part of a page) from a
book. You can put text and graphics (pictures) on each "page" (slide).
It is easy to record your voice reading the text to the student
(technically this is not text-to-speech). For more details see http://www.csudh.edu/fisher/PPTBook.htm
Created by F. Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) for students at
California State University,
Dominguez Hills. Last updated 4/05. Disclaimer: The statements
found on pages in this web site are for informational and instructional
purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this
information is up to date and accurate, official information can be
found in the University publications. Links to commercial sites are for
information purposes only; no promotion of particular commercial sites