Community

Feature Ideas
11

Text to Speech Option

Follow

Adding a text to speech option for posts would be a valuable tool for those students that I work with that are struggling readers.  What is the possibility of adding this, or time line for this addition?

 

Thanks for considering this.

 

Jim Ellis

None

16 comments

  • Avatar
    Charles Black Official comment

    Hello Jim,

    Thank you for reaching out regarding your accessibility questions. Most of the functionality that you are referring to is supported by your computer's operating system or the browser you use. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer/Edge and Firefox all support text-to-speech and will read text displayed on your device, or browser, including any website like Schoology. Both iOS and Android both offer similar functionality within mobile operating systems. Schoology is compatible with these text to speech tools provided at the operating system or browser level.

    More information regarding Apple, Google Chrome and Microsoft options for text-to-speech are here: 
    Apple: 
    http://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover/ 
    Chrome: 
    http://www.chromevox.com/ 
    Microsoft: 
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17173/windows-10-hear-text-read-aloud

    I will be moving your post to the Instructor Q&A section since this functionality is something that is supported by the device or browser instead of an online service or website.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  • 0
    Avatar
    JAMES ELLIS

    Thank you Charles.  I appreciate your time and effort.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Jim

     

     

  • 4
    Avatar
    Erik Cliff-RPS

    @charles

    While the 3rd party tools certainly are possible, they also add complexity and confusion. What about an enterprise feature much like the "mic tool" (similar rationale: there are plenty of recording tools out there, but having the mic tool vastly reduces confusion and inefficiencies for enterprise users).

    I would also appreciate this addition!

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hi Eric, 

    Thanks for providing more context to this Feature Idea. The main reason that text-to-speech resides at the OS and browser level is so that the tools are available to process text from all applications/websites that are accessed on a given device. If this type of tool were employed exclusively at the application/service level, each application or service would have to develop their own text-to-speech tools or bring this service in from a third party. 

    By no means does this erase the possibility that Schoology develops its own feature that facilitates text-to-speech and other accessibility tools based on your feedback. I will move this post back to Feature Ideas so that the rest of the Community can search and support the idea organically. We'll keep an eye on it for progress.

    Thank again!

  • 1
    Avatar
    JAMES ELLIS

    Hello Charles,

    If I understand you correctly, the reason that the text to speech option resides at the browser level is so that a Schoology user could use a text to speech option to have all possible texts read to them that could be accessed via the Schoology platform.  If this is correct, I can understand that providing a text to speech option that could be used throughout all areas/options within the Schoology platform could present issues in maintenance, implementation and cost. 

    However, in reality, my text to speech request was only for text to speech in the calendar area and the post areas on the site. I am a new user of Schoology and don't know all of its capabilities, but am initially thinking that if a student can use the microphone option to submit an item to a calendar or post, that the ability to have it read back to them for clarity and correctness would be very useful.

    As a special education teacher at the high school level, many of my students would benefit from the ability to be able to "hear" messages from teachers, via emails, and calendar items. I understand that students may listen to recordings made by the teacher, however, this puts the responsibility on the teacher to do this.

    All students that may be required to use Schoology may not have the reading skills to read information provided on the calendars and posts.  A text to speech option in these areas would be a valuable accommodation so that all students can use the basic calendar and post tools efficiently and without frustration, and not have to navigate through an OS or browser level to understand and process calendar items and posted information.

    Thanks for considering this.

    Sincerely,

    Jim

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for clarifying your Feature Idea. I recommend you add these details to your initial posting so that we fully understand what functionality you are requesting.

    The ability for users to input text to a site via speech would fall into the dictation/speech recognition category. Apple offers this functionality with Dictation and Microsoft offers Speech Recognition. There are also 3rd party applications such as Dragon, which provides speech to text functionality. 

    To clarify, this type of accessiblity feature is typically at the operating system/browser level (MacOS, Windows 10, etc) so that ALL applications and all webpages (not just Schoology) can take advantage of these tools that allow different types of learners to interact with their device and the Internet.

    We will continue to monitor this Feature Idea for support and input regarding this functionality.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas in the Community.

    Edited by Charles Black
  • 0
    Avatar
    Mr. Barth

    The problem with using outside sources for text-to-speech is that it compromises tests.  It would be nice to have the option built in so students could have the text read to them while using Respondus.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Josh Rumble

    I may not be using this feature correctly, but in trying to do this I failed....

    The ChromeVox system reads everything on the page.  Starting at the URL and just reads down.  I want kids to be able to have a question read to them, have the ability for just that question to be re-read, and for them to be able to select the text they want read.  I do not want the kid to have to sit through a bunch of garbage URL and bookmark info before an assessment question can be read to them.

     

    Is this doable?

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hello Josh,

    There are commands that can direct ChromeVox to read specific areas of the web page and a lot of other tools to help use it more effectively. Please visit: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/7031755?hl=en for more info.

    Edited by Charles Black
  • 1
    Avatar
    Josh Rumble

    I have seen these, however a student with a learning disability that does not have the skills to read, hasa hard time operating such complicated commands to navigate the cell around.  And if I was operating it correctly, the computer was starting to read each box as it moves around which drove me nuts.  Also, while having students take assessments using the Kiosk Schoology App on a Chromebook to keep them from Google, YouTube etc, ChromeVox does not work. 

    A TTS within Schoology itself would solve all of these issues.

     

    Than you for your quick support and response!

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hi Josh,

    Thanks for adding more context to this feature request. We will continue to monitor the support for this idea.

    Thanks again!

  • 0
    Avatar
    KIMBERLY OREN

    I bought a new Chromebook and am trying to create a test in Schoology with audio.  When I click on the microphone, it tells me that Flash is not enabled.  This is a brand new Google Chromebook, and Flash should be enabled automatically with Chrome because that's the only browser I can use.  I just went through all the troubleshooting to enable popups and plugins, but nothing is working.  Do you have any other ideas on why Schoology is not communicating with Flash to enable the microphone?

  • 0
    Avatar
    KIMBERLY OREN

    After 2 hours of frustration, and not long after my previous post, I finally found a solution in Chrome://components under "check for updates".  This was a Chrome issue, not Schoology.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hello Kimberly,

    Very happy to hear that you were able to resolve the issue and THANK YOU for posting your solution here to share with others!

  • 1
    Avatar
    Kimberly Briske

    One more thing to add to this conversation...a microphone tool that would allow teachers to record their own voice for assessment questions and possible responses would be helpful. It would ensure correct pronunciation of terms (names, world languages, etc.) and would allow for a text to speech option for a very specific piece of text. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Charles Black

    Hello Kimberly,

    Thank you for adding your feedback to the conversation!

    Please consider providing an upvote for a Feature Idea regarding recording audio/video within Assessment questions and answers here: https://support.schoology.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007721107-Audio-Video-in-the-New-Assessments

    Your upvote will help bring visibility to this proposed feature which may eventually make it to our Product Roadmap.

    Thanks again for your contribution and for helping make Schoology even better!

    Charles
    Knowledge Management & Community Specialist
    Schoology, Inc.

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk