Software that transforms a text into an audio message and, conversely, an audio message into a text, offers important possibilities in education. Here are some examples.
The goal of speech recognition and synthesis software is simple: to keep the meaning of a message while transforming its medium. It has long been possible to write words on a computer so that it recognizes them and transforms them into an audio message. Improvements in recent years now allow software to read texts and understand complex narratives while respecting punctuation. As a result, it is now possible to create a very faithful conversion.
Some software does an amazing job of converting from written to spoken. For example, the application for iPad Voice Dream and WordQ software have had their educational merits underlined. In terms of speaking to writing, there are very effective software, such as the dragon voice recognition.
An important helping hand for certain learning disabilities
In terms of specialized learning and learning disabilities, this software has already been used for a few years with students. They are of great help to them, especially in terms of dyslexia, dysorthography and speech disorders. For example, they can help students who have difficulty reading, writing or speaking, for example by having them write a syllable, word or phrase and listen to its pronunciation. Conversely, they allow a student to pronounce a sentence or a word and see how it is written. As such, it is possible to read the testimony of an American teacher who uses written-to-oral transcription software to treat dyslexia disorder.
In Quebec, you can also consult the National service of RÉCIT in special education, which offers information and tutorials on this type of tool.
A definite utility in language learning
There is also an interesting use to consider in language learning. In fact, recognition and speech synthesis software often also make it possible to translate a text into another language and to read it. In addition to learning a word in a new language, it allows the student to hear its correct pronunciation. Free sites, like ImTranslator, allow to do so.
And why not, in the service of differentiation
Some students prefer to learn by reading, while others prefer to listen. Advances in transcription software will likely soon make it possible to easily convert complex lecture notes into audio format, which can be listened to by students who wish. It's also a safe bet that they will even allow you to transfer an oral presentation into text and read it on a tablet or an electronic e-reader ...