Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Training at Epping forest

Delivered training at Epping Forest yesterday and showed the staff how
to download the apps from http://eduapps.org. Highlighted Studybar.
Showed them Audacity, DSpeech, CamStudio, Typefaster and Vubar. The
latter always interests people because it is so simple yet so
functional and helpful to many who need to read documents on a screen.
Wish there was a free Mac version. I have taken to opening Textedit
and using the top of the programme window as a reading guide!
We used Freemind to plan out what there was to cover and the delegates
chose the themes in order of their priority.
Discussed issues around running exe files from a USB stick. IT will
discuss possibility of another layer of rights for learners who want
to use the software and will sign another form/contract on use.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Robotic voices

Just thought I'd remind myself about what Alistair said at the online meeting about how people who rely on text to speech tools would prefer the robotic voices because they can actually get to information a lot quicker that way.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

TTS and symbols

Have been working on some material for MoLeSys and researching TTS and symbols. Thought I'd best keep the links here before I forget where to look for them!




Have downloaded Browsealoud for the Mac to test it. Amazing that you can get this stuff for free. Original product by Texthelp. The Irish O2 web site is Browsealoud friendly, apparently. I tried it but didn't manage to get Browsealoud to work on it. Might have to try again another time.

symbolic communication software


Monday, 15 March 2010

Screenr tutorials

I have been showing tutors at a college how to use Flickr, PhotoStory, iTunes and YouTube recently. To help one particular tutor remember the steps, I started making a Word document, then gave up on that because it seemed to be taking more time than simply recording the screen and creating a video tutorial. I used screenr.com (http://screenr.com/user/xlearn) and I might actually create some of these in front of an audience next time so I am teaching them the software and creating a tutorial at the same time. It does depend on how fast the connectivity is though - you do have to pause while the screenr site loads the java, and you do have to have a mic attached to the PC.

Again, to save time and improve the way we share links, I have introduced the tutors to delicious.com. The relevant links that I come across are stored there for each department so they can easily access it. http://delicious.com/selbyhair for one example.

They now have a YouTube channel set up so they can easily capture and upload video clips. Have discovered that YouTube has a function similar to Veotag in that it allows you to annotate videos and pause as well if necessary. This is going to make communicating techniques and underpinning knowledge that much easier compared to using handouts! Learners have the option of reviewing these at a time and place to suit them, and many of them can access YouTube on their phones. The YouTube channel has also motivated staff to produce more video material for their learners.

text to speech

Some discussions I've been part of recently on using text to speech (TTS).
The first link is part of the RSC YH Excellence in Inclusivity event held at Sheffield's The Source: http://ietherpad.com/eii3
I chaired the sessions where we were pulling together people's knowledge of text to speech software. I was also able to show them text to speech apps or software on mobile devices: the google android phone, a windows mobile phone and an iPhone.
Di held an online Instant Presenter session on text to speech for those of us undertaking the ITQ for Accessible IT practice. I found the exercise of looking at various TTS software/websites with headings to push my thinking an excellent way of stretching understanding. Di mentioned the RNIB protocols, using headings. More on this here.
I looked at Fireflox Click speak but it didn't play on my mac. Not sure why - have to explore further. Also looked at Yakitome.com and my comments on this are one this etherpad (http://etherpad.com/itqsession4), but will pull my contribution together for my portfolio.