• Digital Text Resources

    Lexington Public Schools has a variety of digital text resources available throughout the district.  You can access the resources below.  Additional training materials, including videos and handouts, can be found on this page of the Technology Training Website

     

    School-based Resources:

    These resources are located within the schools.  If your school has a specific digital text project, you will find the link below:

     

    Subscription Resources:

    These resources are available only for students that qualify.  In order to qualify, students must have a visual impairment, physical impairment, or reading disability.  For more information on qualifying, click here.  
     
    Bookshare:
    • What type of text do you get?  This website allows you to download visual digital text (or Braille) onto your computer.
    • How do I read it?  You will need a text to speech tool to read this digital text.  You can use the built-in feature, download Read:OutLoud for free from the bookshare website, or use a sophisticated scan and read tool, such as Kurzweil 3000.  You can find more information on text to speech tools here
    • Is there an app?  Yes!  The iOS platform has a great app for Bookshare.  Its called Read2Go.  It runs nicely on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and makes the downloading process much easier.
    • Positive features about this tool:  You will be able to find virtually any currently copyrighted book on this site.  You will then be able to read the text, highlight, make notes, use the dictionary, etc...
    • Drawbacks about this tool:  You will need to use a text to speech tool to hear this text read aloud.  Some students do not like the "robot voice" of the computer. 
    • Click here to go to the Bookshare website
    • For additional support on using Bookshare, go to the Technology Training page for Bookshare.  This page has basic information, handouts, and videos.

     

    Learning Ally:
    • What type of text do you get?  This website allows you to download human voice recordings (similar to audiobooks)
    • How do I read it?  You will need a "daisy reader" to read these special audiobook files.   You can also use the Learning Ally App on an iOS device. 
    • Is there an app?  Yes!  The iOS platform has a great app for Learning Ally.  Its called Learning Ally Audio (found here).  It runs nicely on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and makes the listening process much easier.  Be careful though...  anyone can buy the app, but you can only activate it if you're a current Learning Ally member. 
    • Positive features about this resource:  You will be able to find virtually any currently copyrighted book on this site.  The recordings are human voice recordings, so they usually sound very good.  You can easily navigate through these books, make bookmarks, and more.  Our students also like this resource, as they can listen anywhere, the listen device (and iPod Touch) is small and discrete, and the books are read by real human voices. 
    • Drawbacks about this resource:  The audio files are recorded by volunteers, so each book is usually read by multiple voices.  These audio files are very specific, so though you might want to load them into your iTunes, you can't.  Additionally, the not all of the audio files also provide visual text (this is a new feature for this resource so they're just starting to add text to the files).  Sometimes there will be a delay from when a book is published to when it is available through Learning Ally, as it takes time for a real person to complete the recording.  
    • For additional support on using Learning Ally, go to the Technology Training page for Learning Ally.  This page has basic information, handouts, and videos.
    • Click here to go to the Learning Ally website
     

    Public Domain Resources:

    These resources can be accessed by all students, regardless of disability.  These works are typically in the "public domain", meaning that copyright has expired and additional copies of the work may now be made.  There are many resource out there, but here are some of my favorites (you'll find the full list here)

     
    • Lit2Go
      • Free online collection of stories and poems in MP3 format
      • Can also be directly downloaded through iTunes
    • LibriVox
      • Extensive collection of free audio books read by volunteers
      • The goal is to record every book in the public domain
    • Project Gutenberg
      • This site has over 33000 free ebooks to download
      • It uses only high quality books that were previously published by bona fide publishers and digitized with the help of volunteers
    • Tar Heel Reader
      • This is an extensive collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics
      • Books read aloud by using text to speech software
      • The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format
      • You can also create books directly on this website