When it comes to technology, there isn't much that can't be done to make life a bit easier for our kiddos. Add in the tools from Mac and extensions in Google Chrome, life is good.
Available on Your Mac Already
There are a lot of features on the Mac already to help. To check out their list, click on the image below to go to their OS X Special Education page.
I have been putting together my own series of screencasts about the tools that we have. Here are links to the pages I have put together so far:
- Dictation & Text to Speech: This tool is handy to have the computer type for the student via dictation. You can also have text read to the student by right clicking (CTRL + click) on a highlighted portion of text and selecting speech and then "Start Speaking". If you want it to speak in another language, you can change it on the "Text to Speech" tab under the Dictation & Speech panel in system preferences. For Spanish, I found at Paulina was very good.
- Zoom Content on the Screen: With our screens being as high resolution as they are, sometimes it can become difficult to point out to students in class what they need to click on or vision impaired students may not be able to see their screens as well. Using the Accessibility features within the Mac, it is very easy to zoom in closer.
Free Apps to Download
- Computer Glasses: Although magnifying a portion of your screen is built in to your Mac already, sometimes it isn't the easiest solution. This app, when opened, gives the student an easily manipulatable red circle or rectangle that they can move around the screen and change the size of. You do have to change the permissions on your computer to allow it to have as much control as it needs, so I would recommend checking out the built in magnifying first before moving on to a stand alone app.