Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 13 -- Read:OutLoud and DAISYtoEPUB

Our guest blogger today is Tina Jones, the SE Site Coordinator with the PATINS Project.

Do you have students who are struggling to read their curriculum materials?

How many of your students would benefit from hearing their printed materials read aloud as they study and learn?

Check out what's at the ICAM (Indiana Center for Accessible Materials) that can improve access to curriculum materials and achievement for all of your students!

The ICAM has a state-wide license for Read:OutLoud, which is an accessible text reader from Don Johnston, Inc. This software product can read text aloud for your struggling students from the following types of files:
  • TXT (Text)
  • RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • PDF (Portable Document Format)
  • HTML (Internet)
  • NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Format)
  • DAISY 3 (Digital Accessible Information System Format)
  • Bookshare
  • Microsoft Save as DAISY
In addition to reading text aloud, Read:OutLoud comes with a variety of templates that you can use to enhance the comprehension of your students by asking questions that guide their thinking and assist with their studying. Outline formatting and highlighters are available to enable students to take notes from any text they are reading.

The Read:OutLoud software is available for use by ANY student in Indiana. Copies of the software can be sent home with students who need it when they are doing their homework.

Check out the Read:OutLoud online tutorials.

Did you know that the NIMAS, DAISY, Text, MS Word, and Bookshare files that you have can't be read on any of the portable eBook readers (such as the Nook, iPad, SONY Reader, Kindle, etc.)?

Using the DAISYtoEPUB conversion software you can easily have your students reading those files on their eBook readers.

The conversion is a simpler, 4-step process:
  1. Open the DAISYtoEPUB software.
  2. Select the file you want to convert to ePub format and where you want to save it.
  3. Click Convert.
  4. Transfer the ePub file to your portable eBook reading device(s).
DAISYtoEPUB, version 2, features include:
  • Supports Word docx, txt, and html
  • Accessibility interface enhancements to support users with visual and physical challenges
  • Simple way to view and add alt-text for images when converting
  • Batch processing (converts multiple files at once)
Check out the DAISYtoEPUB online tutorials.

Contact your regional PATINS Project Coordinator for more information about getting Read:OutLoud and DAISYtoEPUB to use with all of your students.

Contact information for PATINS Regional Coordinators is on the PATINS web site.

The Challenge

Wow, it seems like there would be possibilities to use Read:OutLoud and DAISYtoEPUB in all classrooms. Are any of you currently using either of these programs? Share your experiences - with which student populations are your using the software and in what subject areas? Do you see opportunities to use either or both of these programs if you aren't using them now?

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