Learning tools and assistive technologies

These apps are also listed on the Learning Tools tab on my.erikson.edu. You can also find a link in that tab to download Read&Write Gold (a toolbar that integrates support tools with applications like Adobe Reader, the internet, and word processing programs). For information about technology available in the library, check out the Tech Resources page.

Text-to-speech

Rather than read your entire screen, these tools read all types of text documents. Some, like Balabolka, offer many other features such as adjustment of the pitch, volume, and rate of the reading voice; the ability to save readings as audio files; options to change the text size, color, and background for easier on-screen reading; and a built-in magnifier.

  1. Balabolka (Free, compatible with PC)
  2. DSpeech (Free, compatible with PC)
  3. FoxVox (Free, plug-in for Firefox and pre-installed on library computers)
  4. NaturalReader (Free basic version, compatible with Mac and PC)
  5. Announcify (Free, compatible with Android and plug-in for Chrome)

PDF readers

These resources aim to simplify reading and viewing PDF documents, with features like annotation tools, multimedia capabilities and text-to-speech options.

  1. ezPDF Reader ($3.99 for Android, $1.99 for iOS)
  2. Good Reader ($4.99, compatible with iPad)
  3. Skim (Free, compatible with iOS)
  4. Speak It! ($1.99, compatible with iPad and pre-installed in Chrome on library computers)
  5. Foxit PDF Reader (Free, compatible with Windows)
  6. Pro PDF Reader ($4.21, compatible with Android)
  7. Sumatra PDF (Free, compatible with PC)

Note-taking apps

  1. SoundNote ($4.99, compatible with iOS)
  2. AudioNote (prices range from $4.99-$19.99 depending on the platform, compatible with Mac, iOS, Android, and PC)

Screen readers

Screen readers are a form of assistive technology that are especially useful for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  Screen readers identify (audibly, with a Braille device, etc.) everything that is displayed on your screen.

  1. NVDA (Free, compatible with PC and available on a flash drive at the library help desk)
  2. Google TalkBack (Free, pre-installed on many Android devices)
  3. Explore By Touch (Free system feature that works with TalkBack on Android phones)

Highlighters/Web Annotation

  1. A.nnotate – An online annotation, collaboration and indexing system for documents and image
  2. Annotate It – Annotate any webpage with the bookmarklet or add it to your own site
  3. Diigo – Highlight, annotate, tag, collect, and remotely access web content
  4. Draw Here – Bookmarklet to draw on top of web pages while you are browsing the web
  5. Highlighter – This Firefox extension allows you to highlight text on a webpage
  6. MyStickies – Put sticky notes on Web pages
  7. Wired-Marker – A permanent indelible highlighter that you use on Web pages

Assorted resources

  1. Assistive Technology Quickstart Guides – Documentation from Colorado State University’s Assistive Technology Resource Center for some of the Assistive Technology apps mentioned above and many other learning tools.
  2. Open source Assistive Technology Software (OATS) – A searchable database of open source (free) learning tools and assistive technologies ranging from mouse replacement software to screen magnifiers.
  3. Text 2 Mind Map – Rather than create a mind map from scratch, this tool allows you to enter text in an outline format which is then converted to a mind map. If you like mind maps, find more at Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.