Using GoodReader to help students with reading

This post was created by PGCert participants as part of their assessment for Unit 1 of the course. The brief was to choose two specific learning needs and evaluate technologies that could help students with these needs to learn more effectively.

“The impact on learning is very individual but most people with dyslexia typically experience difficulties with reading or decoding text.” Taylor, J. (2015)

Good Reader has many functions centred around the organisation and distribution of files, but the ability to read a PDF document aloud is very helpful for students with Dyslexia. This App has a simplicity of use and functionality that makes it a perfect choice for students with Dyslexia.

Several apps are available that will read text to you, however they may not allow you control over the speed of reading or the ability to pause or navigate around the document easily. GoodReader allows you to do both with a simple interface.

To use GoodReader for reading documents, the text must be saved as, or converted to, a PDF file. This can be done in many different ways according to the original format.

Place the PDF file into the GoodReader app, and with the document open you have two options. To have the whole document read aloud select anywhere on the document and choose ‘speak all’ from the menu. To have a selection of the text read, make the selection and then choose ‘speak selection’.

Particularly helpful is the control panel that will now appear. Using the sliders, you can control both the speed of the read and the volume. Using the familiar icons, you can pause or skip backwards and forwards. You will also see each word highlighted as it is read – particularly useful for finding your position in the text, as well as an aid to reading.

The ‘stop’ button will stop the reading, and return to you the main document.

The mechanical sounding voice will take some getting used to, but once you have adjusted to it the benefit of having the text read to you is very great. There are several voice options and you can easily select one that works best for you.

References:

Jisc. (2019). How technology can help dyslexic learners help themselves. [online] Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/how-technology-can-help-dyslexic-learners-help-themselves-05-nov-2015# [Accessed 28 Nov. 2019].

Elkind, J., Cohen, K. & Murray, C. Annals of Dyslexia (1993) 43: 238. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02928184

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