Posted by Paul Nisbet on the 25th October, 2023
Texthelp have added three Scottish voices (Andrew, Heather and Stuart) plus a Gaelic voice (Ceitidh) to Read&Write for Google Chrome and OrbitNote. Pupils who use Chromebooks or Windows devices in class can use these to read web pages with Read&Write while learners who have OrbitNote can listen to PDFs with the voices.
Scottish accent and Gaelic computer voices are available free for anyone using a Windows or MacOS computer in the Scottish public sector from CALL's Scottish Voice web site, and they can also be purchased for Chromebooks from Google Play at a cost of 59p per voice.
However, it can be difficult to buy and install the voices on Chromebooks in schools, so we're very pleased that textHelp have added some voices to Read&Write for Google Chrome and OrbitNote for Chromebooks.
Read&Write for Google Chrome has a lot of features that support reading and writing.
The free basic version that gives text-to-speech and translation is available from Google Play. Some local authorities in Scotland also have the full premium licence that gives more tools such as spellcheck, prediction, voice typing and aids for research. The new Scottish voices work in both free and premium versions.
To choose a Scottish voice:
You can also turn on Speak on each word and Speak on each sentence if you want speech feedback as you type.
This video shows how:
Some local authorities licence the full version of Read&Write and it will be in the extensions on your Chromebook or Chrome browser (click the vertical three dots in the top right and choose Manage Extensions).
If your local authority has Chromebooks that run with Google Workspace in Glow, you might not have Read&Write but it has been checked by Education Scotland and is in the list of apps and extensions so your Glow Key Contact can ask for it to be added to your Chromebooks.
OrbitNote is texthelp's PDF reader for Chromebooks and it also has the Scottish and Gaelic voices.
This video shows how you can choose a voice.
Using AI to Support Learners with Dyslexia