Natural Reader Online (Dave Banes)

Thanks to Dave Banes for this post:-

Free and Low Cost Assistive Technology of the Week 32/17 – Natural Reader 

Natural Reader is a well established text to speech technology that works across a variety of platforms. Windows, Android, iOS and online.

NaturalReader Online is a text-to-speech web application with high quality premium voices for personal use only. Login from any computer to convert any written text such as MS Word, PDF files, non-DRM eBooks, and webpages into spoken natural sounding speech.

Windows and Mac
NaturalReader is a text-to-speech software for personal use. This easy-to-use software with natural-sounding voices can read to you any text such as Microsoft Word files, webpages, PDF files, and E-mails.



screenshot of Natural reader for IOS

Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers and Pupils

I usually write about ICT and SEN but found this article interesting both as a teacher and a researcher. I feel that collaborative inquiry  amongst teachers from similar disciplines a great way to engage and motivate teachers and students. It sounds simple but the usual excuses of not enough time or finances seems to impede such things. So why not consider the long view and get senior management teams to consider planning a three year programme. MirandaNet can help put the academic element together with you and this would benefit the school in several ways:-

  • relates the the real issues of classroom practise
  • combines theory and practise whilst teaching a theoretical method to those unfamiliar with it.
  • sense of achievement through being in control of the research
  • joint ownership of the approach that is…
  • .. non-threatening due to peer mentoring
  • fresh ideas and new directions can emerge through the process of research
  • and a nice carrot of a certificate or outcome that is tangible would be good but I am sure not always certain.

Anyway, why not read for yourself and make some enquiries from Dr Gary Jones, University of Bristol, about it as an alternative to your usual CPD:-

Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers and Pupils


Switcher Studio & Live Feed on Facebook

Having seen a live feed using this app I was impressed by the way it makes using  Facebook as a webinair tool a possibility. You can use one or two cameras which means you can have one camera showing the slides while the other camera can show how to do a task.

This makes running a live presentation a doodle and comments about the presentation can be fed back instantly to the user. It really is a powerful tool on the iPad and something I wanted to write about.

For more details take a look at:- 

There is a 14 day free trial. I like the way you can make comments as you do the presentation,


Useful resources for parents with special needs children

Hello there,

It’s tough for parents to find out their child might have a learning disability. Especially if it’s not something the parent has ever experienced before. Of course, there is so much information to sift through that it can become incredibly overwhelming, especially if the diagnosis is unexpected or comes later in the child’s academic career. Fortunately, there is an abundance of expertise available to help children and teens with learning disabilities overcome their obstacles.

To help eliminate some of the frustration parents face, I’ve gathered a list of resources. I think there is some great information here, and I’m hopeful you think your readers will benefit from what I’m sharing. This post is shared at

Understanding Dyslexia and How to Help Children Who Have It

The Importance of Self-Esteem for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

Parenting Tips for ADHD: Do’s and Don’ts

How to Create an Autism-Friendly Environment for Kids

How to Discuss Puberty with Your Child Who Has Special Needs

Creating the Optimal Environment for a Kid with ADHD

Teens with ADHD: Recognizing Signs of Depression

ADHD and Addiction – What is the Risk?

Teaching the Person with Autism How to Drive

I hope you will find these resources useful and informative. Parents need all the information they can get, but parents with special needs children more so.

Submitted by Kathleen Carter , Educator Labs

This post is also shared on our resources page


BDA Training for non-medical staff

Just to let you know that the British Dyslexia Association is now able to offer training for Non Medical Helpers covering the key areas of
Data Protection
Health & Safety
Lone Working
Disability Awareness
The training is available via E-Learning and has a built in assessment leading to certification upon successful completion of the assessment process. The link to the course is  and the training team can be contacted on 0333 405 4565, should you wish to share this information with your networks.