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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Introduction to the Firefox add-on, Text to Voice, as a web tool 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 discuss how Text to Voice, a web tool extension that can be added to the Firefox browser which converts text into speech, can be used to promote instruction in the Judaic Studies and secular 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 Text to Voice 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 Text to Voice?

Text to Voice is an add-on to the Firefox browser; this add-on converts text to speech.

What is a Firefox Add-on?

A Firefox Add-on  is a software program that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Firefox browser. For more information on Firefox add-ons click on this link: 

Where is Text to Voice located on the internet?

Where can I find tutorials explaining how to use Text to Voice?

Click on either one of the links below and watch how Text To Voice converts text to speech:

On the next post we will introduce another text to voice web tool, Spoken Text.

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