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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Introduction to I Speech, an extension to the Chrome browser that converts text to speech

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how I Speech (also called Select and Speak), a web tool extension that can be added to the Chrome browser which converts text into speech, can be used to promote instruction in the Judaic Studies classroom

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although I Speech can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

What is I Speech?

I Speech,  also called Select and Speak, is an extension that can be added to the Chrome browser; this extension converts text to speech.

What is a Chrome extension?

A Chrome extension is software program that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. For more information on Chrome extensions click on this link:

Where is I Speech located on the internet?

Where can I find tutorials explaining how to use I Speech?

On the next post we will discuss how the Chrome extension, I Speech, can be used to promote instruction in the blended learning Judaic Studies and secular classroom.

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