There’s a key philosophy that drives our work at Dreamscape: meet students where they’re at.
Meeting students where they‘re at in practice
At a high-level this is about understanding that each student is unique and that each student has their own unique way of learning. Practically, this means doing things like:
- Leveling passages for each reader
- Keeping the platform free for all educators, students, and parents
- Including silly (read: engaging) passages that kids love
- And supporting them with accessibility features like text to speech
What is text to speech?
Text to speech (referred to from here on out as TTS) is using computer software to read text aloud. Our text to speech feature is built to support each and every student regardless of where they are at on their literacy journey.
It begins at bedtime
Our literacy journeys start with being read to. For many of us, this is one of our fondest childhood memories: the daily ritual of bedtime stories.
When children listen to a text being read to them they can understand and gain context from a higher level of language than they can read themselves. This makes complex ideas and vocabulary more accessible to them and creates a connection between the written word and the meaning—that’s reading comprehension!
Reading is conversation
Reading aloud is kinetic and conversational – it’s bringing ideas to life!
There are also important scientific underpinnings to this: reading aloud to children gives them a chance to experience other perspectives, to try new language on for size and to form connections both with language and the information presented in a text.
It really is how we spark an early love for reading and a desire to be a reader! It reveals the magical world of reading and creates touch points for understanding its conventions (think once upon a time).
TTS inclusive of all learners
TTS is all about giving students options so they can build confidence in their reading skills. As we mentioned up top, each student has their own unique way of learning.
That makes TTS especially useful for students who normally use assistive technology and as an accessibility tool for those with learning disabilities. For students who are neurodivergent or dyslexic, TTS is a reliable way for them to read independently in Dreamscape.
Everyone benefits from accessibility
Strategies and accommodations that help students with different ways of learning are also beneficial to the rest of the class. That’s true for:
- Developing readers working towards their grade level
- Star readers looking to tackle more challenging texts
- English language learners who rely more on emotional cues and enunciation
Beyond the classroom
Our reading comprehension skills have application well beyond text based formats. We listen to lectures, podcasts and the radio. We have conversations and negotiate compromises. We open dialogues to understand those around us. These are all skills that grow from comprehension.
By meeting students where they are, we can give them the right tools at the right time. TTS is one of the many ways we help students realize just how magical and transformative reading can be.
If this article has sparked your interest, you can learn more about our teacher trusted and expert backed pedagogy click here.