Whether you’re in high school, college, or grad school, it can be tough to stay on top of all of your required reading. This becomes especially difficult if you’re living with ADHD, dyslexia, are an English language learner, live with learning disabilities, or have other circumstances that can cause it to take longer to get through reading than other students. Many people find that they struggle with procrastination when their workload seems unmanageable–it can be tough to know where to start when you feel like your must-read list is endless.
You may find that you’re spending time hunched over your textbooks, all while trying to take notes on your Mac, iPad, Apple computer, smartphone, or other mobile device. It can be tough to keep your place when you’re moving back and forth from your textbook to your device. You may find that you struggle to focus on both printed and digital text, and that it’s easier for you to listen to audio files such as podcasts and audible audio books than it is for you to concentrate on a printed book. In addition to struggles with paying attention, many students find that sitting crouched over a textbook
Assistive technology to help with reading
Thankfully, you’ve got options. Assistive technology can help you get the information that you need. Whether you’re looking to translate web pages, books, or documents, there are several ways to use text-to-speech apps to create an audio version of text. Text-to-speech apps work on many different types of devices, including Android devices, iOS devices, and other mobile devices. Whether you want to transfer the files on your Amazon Kindle to audio textbooks or you’re looking to take information in your Google Drive and make it into an audio file, there are plenty of ways to get the information you need in a format that makes sense for you.
Textbook audio reader
Many students find themselves staring at textbooks, reading the same passage over and over again, trying to get the information to sink in. Even if you don’t live with a learning disability, reading fatigue is real, and it can be tough to stay focused hour after hour of studying, especially if you’re also working or if you have a heavy course load.
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to find a natural e-reader that makes it simple to listen to your textbooks in audio format, the answer is yes–it’s totally doable. Even if your textbooks are in different languages, there are many text-to-speech options that allow you to upload text files in a variety of languages and have them translated into easy-to-understand free audiobooks.
Text-to-speech with textbooks
If you already have a digital text version of your textbook, you can simply upload it into a text-to-speech app, where the OCR software will work to identify different syllables, match them to audio within their vast library of vocal units, and then use the information to create an audio file with your information. If you do not have a digital version of your textbook, no worries–some text to speech apps allow you to upload photos or scans of your textbook. From there, the app can work to detect the text in the photo and translate it into an audio file.
Many people find that there are a variety of benefits to using a text-to-speech app instead of studying in the traditional way. When you use a text-to-speech app, you’re able to take your studies with you on the go, no matter where you are. This means that you’re able to start studying in your dorm and continue listening as you walk to class, which can be perfect right before an exam or a presentation. If you’re working while taking classes, you can take advantage of downtime at work by listening to your required readings while you’re on the job.
If you’re dyslexic or have other learning disabilities that can make it tough for you to stay focused while you’re reading, using a text-to-speech app can increase your comprehension while also helping you to become more productive with the limited time you have available to study.
You’ll have several options when you decide that using a text-to-speech app is the right fit for furthering your studies.
Popular text-to-speech apps include:
- Voice Aloud Reader
- Google Text to Speech
When you’re choosing a text to speech app, it’s smart to start with a free trial before you pay for a subscription. Different TTS apps offer different voices, and you may find that the customization options with one app are a better fit for your needs than another.
Many people who prefer to listen to their textbooks over studying printed material find that the Speechify app is the best fit for their learning needs. If you’re not yet familiar with the app, head over to Google Play on Android or the App Store on iOS devices to take a look at all that Speechify has to offer.
With Speechify, you’re able to adjust the speed of your audio files in a way that makes sense for your studying. If you’re going through a part of your textbook that you feel comfortable with, you can speed up your audio file so that you’re not wasting time on information you already know. If you’re going through a more complicated part of your audio and you need to slow down, no worries. You’ll also be able to move forward and ahead with ease.
Speechify offers many different voices to help you find one that makes it easy for you to focus and stay on task if you study. If you find that you start struggling to listen to one voice, switching it up to a new voice to help keep you engaged.
Speechify syncs your audio library across your devices, so you can start listening on your tablet and continue listening on your Android or iPhone as you walk to class. There’s no need to upload multiple times. If you don’t currently have digital files of your textbooks, you also have the option of taking photos of your text and uploading it to Speechify, where the app will translate the words in the photo into an audio file.
With Speechify, you can sign up for a three-day free trial, allowing you to get a feel for the app and whether it’s the right natural reader for your academic needs. Take your time exploring the features on the app, changing the voices, and playing with the speed of the audio files so you can fully understand how the app can customize your files to meet your needs. Happy studying!