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Jay Shuck

Web Reader Trials Runs

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Hi.  I think having a web-based reader is a great idea since nearly all digital gadgets have a browser.  The ideal setup for my school would be to have the web reader feature work well with the base-budget Kindle Fire.  They're so cheap I could buy several for our students who have reading issues, but as of yet Bookshare and Kindle don't work well together.  I've tried the web reader with the Kindle's Silk browser on the economy Kindle and must say that I was amazed that it worked at all and sounded pretty good. There's no highlighting, but that isn't a deal breaker.  What prevents me from introducing the Fire-Bookshare combo to the kids is that as the voice-to-text reaches the bottom of the screen, the voice keeps going but I haven't been able to either scroll down to follow it or swipe to the next page.  When I try swiping in various directions to continue the passage, the screen jumps to random locations, or at least they seem random to me.  But the text looks great and the voice is more than acceptable.

As far as using the Chrome browser on a Windows PC, it works fairly well.  Desired improvements:  For the web reader to be able to hold the reader's place between student log-ins (seems like sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't), and for the user to be able to click on a word or section of text and have the narration to begin at that point.  When you click on text and hit play, sometimes to jumps to the start of the chapter and sometimes it jumps to a previous paragraph.  I don't want students to have to start at the beginning of a chapter every time they log in.

It was mentioned in another post that Voice Dream Reader was available in the Kindle Store. I looked for it using the economy Kindle, but it didn't show up.  Not sure if that's because of the model I was using or just because it wasn't there.  I've used that app on a much more expensive Galaxy Tab, and it works great.  

Thanks for your efforts on our behalf.  Jay Shuck

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Hi, Jay.

If you search the Amazon Kindle Store for Voice Dream Reader, it will appear under “Apps and Games.” However, the actual app is in the Amazon App Store for Android. Voice Dream Reader can also be downloaded from Google Play Store.

The Snap&Read extension for Chrome will read Bookshare books running in the Web Reader and allows the reader to begin reading at any location on a page or in the book. Snap&Read also works with the Kindle Cloud Reader. In order to use Snap&Read with the Bookshare Web Reader, you have to disable the Bookshare Web Reader extension in Chrome and then enable the Snap&Read Extension in Chrome so that the Snap&Read symbol appears on the Chrome Toolbar. Snap&Read is available for purchase from the Don Johnston Company (www.donjohnston.com). The company also allows you to try it for free before making a purchase. There is an excellent demonstration video of Snap&Read on the Don Johnston website.

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Thank you Jay, for the suggestions, and to Karen for reminding folks about extensions like Don Johnston's Snap&Read or Text Help's Read&Write on top of Bookshare Web Reader.

We are also actively working with Amazon to allow Go Read (our free android app) into the Kindle Store for use with a Kindle Fire. That is the first app that offers Reading Lists, so we are very excited about the App, and hopeful that it could work for you on your Kindle Fire tablets too!

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