Adding the ReadSpeaker text-to-speech service to your school’s website or teacher-created materials is easy, too. If you use templates consistently, the addition of a small piece of code can automatically enable all content to be read out loud. For instance, customers Cengage Learning and EBSCO each add thousands of articles a day, and text to speech is enabled for each new piece. ReadSpeaker works on all browsers and all operating systems, and users don’t need any special software or programs. The goal is for customers to have to do as little implementation as possible and for end-users to have to do nothing. It must be working because text to speech is the second highest used feature in Cengage and EBSCO’s databases. Creating index cards is the top feature. The methods used to create the automated voices have improved dramatically in the last several years, allowing the voices to sound much better than before. To make virtually all the sounds needed, humans are recorded reading a large number of phonemes; the software then stitches these together to make all the necessary words. “What’s interesting about it is that the way to make a voice sound better is not by making it sound perfect, but by making it sound more human,” says Niclas Bergström, ReadSpeaker Founder and CEO. “We have made constant refinements that improve the quality.” Walt Tetschner, the publisher and editor of Asrnews.com, says, “Text to speech has made big gains in recent years, being used for GPS systems, to read emails to people who are driving, and even for writers who are proofing their work. Being able to hear your work read back to you can also help you edit.” In fact, the Library of Congress uses the technology for that purpose. Unlike translations, which occur word by word, ReadSpeaker’s software builds its text to speech after considering the entire sentence, allowing it to get inflections correct and to accurately read some words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently, such as to read and having read material. Also, because the software is delivered through the Internet, schools and students can be sure to always have the most updated version available. The service is priced per activation. For a small publisher, an activation might cost a few cents, while for a larger publisher each user is a fraction of a cent. While the idea of offering text to speech to students might be new to educators, most probably already have the service encoded in some of the databases they purchase. For other schools, the service is built into the learning management systems they use, such as Desire2Learn, Canvas, Moodle, or Blackboard. “In a few years TTS will almost become a requirement,” Bergström adds. [enhancing_learning]