Accessibility in Education #14 - Voices

Welcome to another post in this series supporting educators to use the features built into iPad Operating System to support the personalised experience their students have on their iPad.

There are so many features built into your device, that I estimate that most people use around 10% of what is available to them. Plus, with the rate of change and the volume of incredibly useful tools, it's hard to keep up! In my work as an Apple Professional Learning Specialist, I've discovered that these selected tools have proven to be the most valuable in my interactions with the individuals I've collaborated with in the classroom.

This resource has been created to give you access to short videos that assist you to set up the iPad for success in the classroom. There are 30 top tips coming, little video snippets and some ideas about who might find each tool valuable.

The top tips are grouped into topics. In my mind, the first group are about the settings on the iPad. These are the more global type features. The second and third sets are the ones that assist students to get content into and out of iPad, and off the page or environment, and the fourth set is additional tools that facilitate organisation, and understanding. The last tool gives you customised suggestions of which features would be worth setting up based on the student’s personal needs.

At the end of the 30 posts there will be a combined resource and downloadable content for you with all the videos and resources in one location, so keep your eye out for that.

In this video, we investigate changing the voice your iPad uses to speak to you. Of course you can select any voice you like, but my personal recommendation is the Alex voice. I am not a huge fan of an Americanised voice in a non American setting but I'll make an exception for Alex.

Apple has developed Alex to use 49 different breath sounds when he is reading text back to you, and he knows words in context. Both of these features assist students to understand what they are listing to, enable them to identify where punctuation should go, and assists with reading skills.

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