What is ReadSpeaker?
ReadSpeaker comprises a suite of reading and studying tools located in Canvas. It includes four products:
- webReader (Canvas content)
- docReader (Documents within Canvas courses)
- TextAid (Upload documents to your own library – opens in new window from Canvas)
- Web Reading extension (Websites and other browser content, including Open Educational Resources)
These tools are available for all students and faculty to use.
- Text-to-speech for listening online
- Converts text to mp3 for listening offline
- Highlights words and sentences as it reads the text
- Voice adjustments for reading speed, voice, and language
- Visual adjustments to fonts, size and spacing, and background colors
- Collects highlights and annotations into simple study guides
Our center obtained funding from the University Technology Fee Advisory Board to extend the ReadSpeaker licensure for the academic year 2023-2024. UTFAB is a student-run organization that oversees and approves the use of student technology fees for improvements across the university.
We would like to hear feedback on your experience with the ReadSpeaker tools. This will help us determine whether to renew the software going forward. If you have questions or feedback about any of these tools, please contact the ATRC.
Using ReadSpeaker in Canvas
ReadSpeaker’s webReader is a toolbar you can use to read web content in Canvas. This excludes documents that have been uploaded (see docReader for this feature).
Note: ReadSpeaker is not yet available in the Canvas mobile app. It is only available in a browser.
For additional video tutorials on ReadSpeaker, see the following YouTube playlists:
With docReader, you can use text-to-speech on documents that have been uploaded to Canvas without having to download them or import them into another program. Note that this feature will only work with PDFs that have text recognized in them.
Just press the play icon next to a document to open it with docReader:
See the following video for an introduction to using docReader in Canvas.
For additional video tutorials on docReader, see the following YouTube playlist:
TextAid is a text-to-speech and literacy tool for documents that the webReader is unable to read, including PDFs. It takes an extra step to upload documents into TextAid, but there are more robust features than in docReader. It can read math equations (if they’re not images), and can also export readings into audio files that you can use on the go.
TextAid appears in the course menu in Canvas, the same menu where you find Modules, Grades and Assignments. When you click on TextAid, it will open in a new tab.:
For additional video tutorials on TextAid, see these YouTube playlists:
Using Web Reading Extension
The Web Reading Extension is an additional tool that can be used on websites outside of Canvas. Note: The browser extension is activated by first going to TextAid in Canvas. Launch from TextAid every time you use the extension to “log in” with CSU’s institutional account.
- Consider trying the browser extension with OER textbooks and other web content.
- To install the browser extension:
- For written instructions, download Installing the Extension (PDF).
- See the YouTube Video: How to Add the ReadSpeaker TextAid Extension to Your Browser
For additional video tutorials, see the following YouTube playlist: