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TextAloud 3 Software Review by Audrey TolleNextUp Technologies, LLC
2668 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd
Clemmons, NC 27012
I have a son who really struggles with reading, however, a lot of his school work is on the computer. My default course of action has always been to sit beside him as he works so I can help him read his assignments. It never even occurred to me to look for a program that can read the text out loud to him so that I don’t have to be glued to his side. I was thankful to run across the opportunity to try TextAloud 3.
TextAloud 3 is a computer program that simply reads the chosen text on your computer to you. Once installed, you have the ability to have the text read out loud through a variety of ways. Articles can be copied/pasted into the TextAloud screen and read, or there is a toolbar that you can click the button and it will read the page to you. Articles can also be saved as MP3 files to be saved and listened to at a later time. I thought this was an awesome feature since I have several e-books that I haven’t gotten around to reading, but am more apt to listen to while I do laundry or something.
There was a little bit of a learning curve as to how to use the program, figuring out how to copy/paste the article into the TextAloud program and figuring out how to use the toolbar, but there are helpful videos and wonderful customer service that gets back to you in a very timely manner. My ten-year-old has been working on an essay and was able to have TextAloud read him the paper so he could hear how it sounded and hear where he was missing words and needed to correct his writing. This software was tremendously helpful in him proofing his work more independently.
It claims to help users overcome dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I have no experience to base this off of, but I could definitely see how it would be helpful for those who struggle to be able to follow along as the software reads the words for you and could decrease frustration. I have a dear friend whose son is legally blind and I showed her how TextAloud 3 worked and she loved it as well.
Like any software, it isn’t perfect and there are always ways it can be improved, but overall, I think this is a handy tool to have if you or your children do a lot of work on the computer. The default voice sounds like a monotone computer voice, but there are other options available that sound more human-like. There is also a free 20-day trial of the software available at their website so you can try it out and see how it works for you.
-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2017