Make Learning Audio


Who does it help?

Think of your students who would.... . .

  • benefit from highlighting individual words and hearing them read. Or from hearing the definition of the word read.
  • benefit from hearing an entire selection or article on a website read aloud.
  • appreciate hearing their own words read by the computer.
Think of students who struggle with reading comprehension.
Studies have shown that “talking text” can support comprehension for some students. They may benefit from:
  • Pre-reading to increase comprehension
  • Reading to access standard or advanced materials
  • Reinforcement from reading and listening together
  • Reading selected words or phrases
Who Benefits from Talking Text?
  • The whole class, groups, or individuals, in order to preview new information, or as part of a final proofreading exercise.
  • The gifted student can use it to access more advanced text.
  • Kindergarteners listening to individual letters and working in an exploratory fashion.
  • English Language Learners who need help reading and hearing words together.
  • Writers who need to hear omissions or inaccuracies in their work. (

Using audio tools allows students to listen to information as often as they need to. Audio allows students who need audio support to hear the information rather than having to read it.

Educator Resources:

Free audio tools:
  • Audacity - Free, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds
  • Audio books - Audio books can be expensive to buy. Fortunately, there are lots of sites that let you download and listen to free audio books online. Here are 25 places to find the best in fiction, nonfiction and verse.
  • WavePad Audio editing software
  • Free Online OCR - Optical Character Recognition tool that allows you to extract text from an image file. No registration necessary. Just upload your image files. Free-OCR takes either a JPG, GIF, TIFF BMP or PDF (only first page) and converts it to a text file that can be read by text to speech tools. Supports 29 foreign languages.

Text to Speech Tools
  • Natural Readers - text to speech - will create MP3 of text also
  • eSpeak - Free Open Source download that produces good quality English speech.
  • XP Built in Tools
  • Librivox
  • Voki Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
  • WordTalk - free text to speech plugin for Microsoft Word
  • PowerTalk- PowerTalk is a free program that automatically speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows. Download
  • Read The Words - Free online tool - place the words in the field and they will be read aloud
  • Spoken Text - is a text to speech/audio converter, it allows you to record (English, French, Spanish or German) PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, RSS feeds, emails and web pages, and converts them to speech automatically. Using it you can easily create audio recordings (in English, French, Spanish and German) of any text content.
  • BrowseAloud - Browsealoud reads web pages aloud for people who find it difficult to read online. Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments.
  • Vozme - paste text in and have it read to you
  • Read the Words - Paste the text and have it read to you
  • Voicethread- capture audio for online digital storytelling. The pro version is free to K-12 educators.
  • Ideas for using Voicethread in the classroom
  • Presidential speeches

Free Audio Books
  • AudioOwl - An extensive collection of high quality public domain audio books. - Download mp3 and iPod format.
  • Kids Audio Books - Download stories in categories from "A Child's Garden" to "Woody Woodpecker"
  • Light Up Your Brain - Download or "Read to me" MP3 recordings of a variety of stories for children, including Mother Goose stories.
  • Free classic audio books - Download MP3 or MP4 for iPod
  • MagicKeys Children's storybooks online - Illustrated children's stories for kids of all ages - free online talking story books - no downloads necessary
  • Lit2Go - A free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format
  • Voices in the Dark - Audio books and stories read aloud by real people for free! Download MP3