Erika Brandstatter

german accent, garbled speech, freezing up

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Is anyone having trouble using Bookshare on a Chromebook? We have installed the required extension and the recommended voice extension. Sometimes it reads in English, but more often than not, it reads in a German accent, does not highlight while reading, sometimes completely garbles the speech, and will even entirely freeze and stop working.

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Hi Erika,

That series of issues is very odd indeed.  What other extensions do you have installed on your Chromebooks, and do you have two extensions installed for Bookshare?  The Bookshare Web Reader extension and the text to speech HQ English US google extension?

Has this been happening since the start of the school year or is it relatively recent that this has started happening?

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The crazy part is there is no rhyme or reason.... it happens on varying Chromebooks with a handful of different student's google accounts (so varying chrome extensions installed). The one thing they all have in common is the two extensions recommended by Bookshare (web reader and HQ voice). And even the problem is not consistent (I am the tech person, went there to help the school team... I heard the German accent but did not witness the freezing or garbled voice)  We've tried uninstalling and reinstalling extensions in a variety of sequences but that didn't seem to change anything.  Do you have any recommendations we could try?

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Try removing the Web Reader extension itself, that extension is no longer needed for 90% of the environments, and only is still required on a few Chromebooks for various rare reasons.  

Without the Web Reader extension within the Web Reader settings you'll find a new voice drop down option that will include the HQ voice if it's installed, it may be necessary to manually select that voice from the options after uninstalling the Web Reader extension.

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Hi Nick,

Okay, done, we have sent a memo to all our school teams to remove the Web Reader extension (but keep the HQ voice and choose this voice from the drop down menu). We have given up on the "read now" button and are trying to temporarily save the book in html to see if this works better. Here is a response from one of our school teams:

So, turns out Chromebooks are still not really cooperating with the Book Share books after they are uploaded and converted to html. I've had a kiddo in my office trying to read for the past 45 min with little luck. The book runs really sluggish, lengthy pauses between sentences or gets completely stuck. I just switched him over the Jamie's laptop and it's working fine. Noticeably better. 
 
Very frustrating. Any suggestions or are we at an impasse?

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Hi Erika,

It may unfortunately be a performance issue due to the limited processing power many of the Chromebooks have, especially earlier versions.  If trying to open the book in raw html it's very likely they'll experience performance issues.  That method will try to open the entire book at once, loading it all into the RAM of the device which is often very limited on those machines.

Did removing the extension help open books with the Read Now function?  If they're still experiencing issues within the Bookshare Web Reader can you check for me if they're using the new Beeline layout options, and if they are can you ask them to try the standard black and white layout to see if that helps.

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