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Michelle Thomas

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  1. Michelle Thomas

    web reader help please

    Hi James, We teach our students to use the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension. We have premium licensing, but the text-to-speech is in the free version. They can select where to start reading the text on the screen and it has multiple voice options. Michelle
  2. Michelle Thomas

    Sponsor access to reading books

    Hi, As a sponsor, we do not have the ability to open books. I will log in as the student to preview a book to make sure that the formatting, etc. will meet their needs. Michelle
  3. Michelle Thomas

    unassign books?

    I just did this and it took me a bit to figure it out, as well! When you are logged in, go to Members, click on the last name of the member, select "Assigned Books" and remove individual books by selecting the trash can icon beside "Action".
  4. Michelle Thomas

    how do I get started?

    Hi, I manage the Bookshare account for my district and can let you know how we are set up. We have one Organizational account that I created. (I am an assistive technology specialist that supports all of our buildings. Prior to this role, I was a special education teacher.) Then, I added "sponsors", which are other staff members that have the ability to add students. My goal is to train the sponsors to be able to independently add students that qualify and assign texts to them. (I still provide a lot of help.) Our students access the books mostly on Chromebooks and use the text-to-speech feature of the Read&Write extension since it offers more voice options. I hope this helps a bit! Feel free to take a look at my Bookshare page on our website: Michelle Thomas, Assistive Technology Specialist
  5. Michelle Thomas

    Reading time?

    I know that you can look at Organization downloads and the number of downloads per student but I don't know of a way to determine time spent reading the book. That would be a wonderful resource! I will be watching this topic for ideas!
  6. Michelle Thomas

    Do you remove students who move?

    Hi Susan, I am the Primary Contact for our district's Organizational account and I do remove a student if someone tells me that a student is no longer in our district. I am always concerned that if they remain on our district Organizational account, they might not be able to be added to an Organizational Account in their new district. I don't know if that is true, though. We are a large district and I like to keep the list current. I hope this helps! Michelle Thomas, Assistive Technology Specialist Adams 12 Five Star Schools Thornton, CO
  7. Michelle Thomas


    Hi Heidi, I think we had this problem last year and discovered that, if the student uses the same Chromebook each time, the book would reopen in the place where they left off. (Often, students were using different Chromebooks as it typically doesn't matter which one they used.) I hope this helps! Michelle Thomas
  8. Michelle Thomas

    IEP vs. 504 Plan

    Thank you, Jerri. I am just so used to checking IEP or 504, I wasn't sure if I could proceed. Your post was very helpful!
  9. Michelle Thomas

    Help w 15yo reluctant reader

    Hi Earline, I am an Assistive Technology Specialist and can share some information about how our students are accessing Bookshare in our school district. The most common way that we are using is via the Bookshare Web Browser on a Chromebook. The students then use the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension for the text-to-speech. (Text-to-Speech is included in the free version.) That way, the student can both see and hear the text as it is read aloud. At the beginning, I make it as easy as possible for both the teachers and students by adding the books, etc. and then try to encourage them to take more control of the account. I also like for the students to start with a book that they WANT to read instead of a book they HAVE to read. I hope this helps a bit! Michelle Thomas, Assistive Technology Specialist
  10. Michelle Thomas

    IEP vs. 504 Plan

    I have a student that has a visual impairment which greatly affects his ability to access text. The school team is in the process of determining if he will qualify for an IEP or 504 Plan. Can I create his Bookshare account before the plan is determined? We do have a note from the Ophthalmologist indicating that he will have difficulty accessing text smaller than 20. Thank you! Michelle Thomas Assistive Technology Specialist Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Thornton, CO
  11. Michelle Thomas

    Problems with books stopping

    Hi, I agree that the Read&Write extension offers much more control over reading when using the Web Reader. The free version offers the text-to-speech so you don't have to purchase the Premium Subscription to use it with Bookshare. I have not heard from any students or teachers in my district regarding the reading stopping in the middle of the page. Every once in a while, it gets a little quirky and seems to lose it's place, but with a page refresh, it is good to go again. Michelle Thomas, Assistive Technology Specialist, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Thornton, CO
  12. Michelle Thomas

    Sibling account

    Hi Jonah, I am an Assistive Technology Specialist in the public schools. We use a district Organizational Account to create our students' Bookshare membership. Through the district, the membership is free and does not require an email address. If the family would like for the student to have an Individual Membership so the student can select his/her own books, we can use the student's (school) email address. Michelle Thomas
  13. Michelle Thomas

    Pausing while listening to book

    Hi, It will depend on the tool... If the student opens the book with the Web Reader and uses the free Read&Write for Google Chrome text-to-speech tool, it has a pause button.
  14. Michelle Thomas

    Transfer students

    Hi Elyce, If the student is part of a different account, I believe that he/she will need to be deleted from that account before you can add the student to your account. Michelle Thomas Adams 12 Five Star Schools Thornton, CO
  15. Michelle Thomas

    Student Dashboard Question

    I just saw the Student Dashboard. When it shows a number of books "downloaded", what does that mean? Does it count books that have been opened with the Web Browser? Does it show a count for students with an Individual account? Thanks in advance! Michelle Thomas Assistive Technology Specialist Adams 12 Five Star Schools Thornton, CO