Session Information: Free Tools for Universal Design for Learning in Literacy . Presented by Jennifer Kraft. K12 Online Conference. Getting Started Strand. Oct 20, 2008. http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=270
CLiCk, Speak is an open source extension for the Firefox web browser. CLiCk, Speak is designed for sighted users who want text-to-speech functionality. It has a mouse driven interface that is designed to be easy for users familiar with point-and-click graphical user interfaces. CLiCk, Speak works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.
SpokenText.net is a tool that allows the user to convert text to audio. Using it you can easily create audio recordings of any text content. The user may use this converter, to record (English, French, Spanish or German) PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, and web pages, and convert them to speech automatically.
There are many uses for this tool. It may be used to record books, articles, web pages, class notes or any other text content you want to have available to you in audio format. Having text available in audio format would allow the user to listen while commuting or exercising. It is also a great way to help students who have difficulty reading.
With Jott you call a phone number, speak your notes, messages, or updates and hang up. Then, Jott takes the spoken messages, turns them into text, and sends them to the right destination via email, text message, or web update.
The mission of Project Gutenberg is t o encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.
The goal is to encourage all those who are interested in making eBooks and helping to give them away.
They provide many eBooks in many formats for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.
Project Gutenberg is powered totally by volunteers.
They offer many freedoms to their volunteers, in choices of what books to do, what formats to do them in, and any other ideas volunteers may have concerning "the creation and distribution of eBooks."
People are encouraged to send eBooks in any format and at any accuracy level and Project Gutenberg asks for volunteers to convert them to other formats, and to incrementally correct errors as times goes on.
Everyone is welcome to contribute to Project Gutenberg.
Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form application offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.
LetMeType is similar to Microsoft's AutoComplete. It helps the user enter text, regardless of the program being used. Running in the background, it analyses what is typed. After some time it has collected enough information to guess a word after the user has typed the first two or three letters. A list of the most probable words is displayed, and the user may select one with a single keystroke or just continue typing.
Questions My only question is, “How in the world will I find the time to help teachers and students implement the wonderful array of tools available on the web?” It will be a challenge, but I am up to it.
In this session, I learned about MANY web tools that may be used to enhance learning. I will definitely spend some additional time investigating these tools and their effectiveness in the educational setting. I will select a few tools and introduce them to teachers and encourage them to incorporate them into their lessons.