Saturday, April 22, 2017

How to know What is on my iPad?

As a dyslexic high school student my iPad, with a number of assistive apps, has become a very valuable tool. With my iPad I can read and fill out a PDF using text-to-speech, read a book with Voice Dream Reader, or map out my ideas with Inspiration Maps. The iPad mini is a perfect size for my needs allowing me to read sitting up, or reclining comfortably while listening to a book. Before I got the iPad I would either be tied to a computer to read using text-to-speech, or reading on the tiny screen of my iPhone. Here's a list of my favorite iPad apps and how I use them to help me both in and out of the classroom.
Voice Dream Reader is a text-to-speech reading app that allows users to read a wide variety of files through the app. The app includes the ability to buy very high quality text-to-speech voices for use with the app. Voice Dream Reader allows you to highlight  important parts of a passage as you read along.. One of my favorite features is the ability to download and read Bookshare books from within the app. Currently  Voice Dream Reader does not support  Bookshare books with images, but hopefully will add that feature in the near future. In all Voice Dream Reader is a must have for anyone who prefers reading with text-to-speech.

Read2Go is another app for reading Bookshare books. Bookshare provides accessible digital books to members. Using Read2Go users to keep their books at their finger tips all the time. The app has a choice of two text-to-speech voices. While Read2Go does not have as many features as Voice Dream Reader the support it has for books with images is a plus.
The free Learning Ally Audio app allows Learning Ally members to download and listen to their audio books on the go. The app has useful features such as bookmarking and playback is easy to control and customize. Learning Ally is starting to add digital text to some of their books so users can follow along with the text while listening to the human narrated audio book.

PDF Expert 5 is a new addition to my iPad home screen. The app includes polished annotation, editing, and management with easy to use built in text-to-speech. Using the app I am able to read a PDF worksheet with text-to-speech and complete the worksheet with the annotation features. PDF Expert can also connect to your Google Drive or Dropbox for easy upload and download.

Inspiration Maps is a mind mapping app perfect for pre-writing and getting your ideas out onto paper. Inspiration Maps makes it easy to make great looking webs and outlines on the go. I like using Inspiration Maps to get my ideas flowing when I have to write about a difficult topic. Inspiration Maps also has a more kid friendly version called Kidspiration Maps.
Prizmo is one of my all time favorite apps. With Prizmo you can take a picture of text in a document and Prizmo will recognize the text using optical character recognition (OCR) then the app can read the text back to you using text-to-speech. Prizmo also is a great scanner allowing you to snap a picture of a document and save or share it as a PDF.

Kurzweil 3000-firefly - Free

Kurzweil 3000-firefly is a app that allows you to view and read Kurzweil documents that you store online. The app is free for users that have a Kurzweil 3000-firefly licence. Users can save a Kurzweil document to firefly from their computers and then view and read the document using text-to-speech. The service is helpful for people that use Kurzweil frequently and want to read documents while on the go. Firefly can also make sharing Kurzweil documents to multiple people much easier.

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