Educational Uses for vBookz PDF Voice Reader

11 06 2012

Anyone that has read my blog knows that I love free apps. I also love it when a user is able to access content or demonstrate knowledge independently.

I stumbled across the app vBookzPDF recently. vBookzPDF is a free voice reader for PDF files for iOS devices. It allows users to follow and read documents on their device. Plus, the interactive cursor allows users to repeat words, move the cursor to a new section, or pause the reading.

So, this got me thinking about content delivery.  Typically, teachers create content in a multitude of programs – Pages, Keynote, Word, PowerPoint, Smart Notebook. If content needed to be read, for a student with an iPad, they would have to use VoiceOver- which doesn’t always work, and can be frustrating for many users who use VoiceOver as a reader. However, vBookzPDF can change that.

With Dropbox and a little imagination, content can be accessed in a new way. If files are saved as a PDF, then sent to Dropbox, vBookzPDF can read these files.

If you’re unsure on how to make a file a PDF, on a Mac, it’s easy.

1. In the working document, go to the print menu-command+p or file-print

2. In the bottom right corner of the print menu, select PDF- save as PDF

3. Name the file and specify the location it is to be saved in.

Once the file is saved as a PDF, Open Dropbox and drag the file(s) you want into it.

Then, in Dropbox, select the file. Tap on the arrow in the right corner. Users will see a menu that asks to open the file in another app. vBookzPDF should be one of those files.

vBookzPDF will open the file

Then, the file should be able to be read using vBookz PDF Voice Reader!

The possibilities of using this app for students with print disabilities is pretty cool. I’m thinking more of students who have a learning disability such as Dyslexia, or a processing disorder where the multi-sensory feedback from having the words highlighted and text read aloud is beneficial. This is a great option for accessible instructional materials for these users, and allows them to read content.

Another way of using this is for students who have difficulty speaking. They are able to type their thoughts down, but have trouble articulating them verbally, or they may lack the proper breath structure to speak for long periods of time. Having their speech saved as a PDF and played on vBookz PDF allows them to use the tool should they need it, but their words are heard. Most importantly, they become independent in showing teachers and parents what they know.

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