A little girl in a pink top wearing headphones

Text-to-speech (TTS) technology has witnessed exponential growth over the last decade, even more in the last couple of years thanks to developments in AI and Machine Learning. If you look closely, you can find applications of it in all industries that rely on media to deliver information. Most notable, however, are its applications in education, transforming the way students and educators interact with content and exchange knowledge.

The emergence of text-to-speech technology has opened up a world of possibilities for different sectors, and education is no exception. From helping students with learning difficulties to providing alternative ways of consuming information, TTS has proven to be an essential tool in classrooms. But before we delve into how TTS is changing the educational landscape, it’s important to understand what text-to-speech is, how it works, and how to best utilize it.

What Is Text-to-Speech Technology?

Text-to-speech, often shortened to TTS, refers to the conversion of written text into speech using specialized software and tools. It reads digital content aloud with minimal human input, making it an incredibly valuable tool for individuals with various disabilities or those wanting an auditory learning experience.

TTS is a form of assistive technology that converts text into spoken words. It’s already being used in various devices, with the most well-known being computers and smartphones. and can even be integrated into websites and web applications. This technology has advanced a lot, leading to more natural-sounding speech, making it easier and more pleasant to listen to. Not to mention, many TTS software now includes multiple languages, accents, and tones.

Text-to-Speech vs. Speech-to-Text

While text-to-speech is a speech conversion technology that turns written text into audio, speech-to-text assistive technology (STT) automatically transcribes speech into written text. Before STT, this was done with the help of human transcribers who manually converted speech, audio, or video into text.

Both techniques are intertwined and often used for similar applications in accessibility and education, thanks to speech recognition. Text-to-speech creates a wider variety of content people can consume. Speech-to-text technology is more readily and commonly used for things like voice command and engagement, which can reply with voice responses.

How Does TTS Assistive Technology Work?

Text-to-speech assistive technology can be broken down into multiple steps that vary in the type of input and oversight required on the user’s part.

  • Input: The input needs to be free of spelling errors and special characters that are incompatible with the software in use. Also, punctuation is important to guide the artificial human-like voices to speak more naturally.
  • Text Processing: The software then scans the input text to identify words, punctuation, and other elements. While some software is capable of processing handwritten text, errors often occur during conversion, so typed text is advised.
  • Conversion: The sentences and words are broken into their basic phonetic symbols to be rendered into speech. This allows the software to avoid pronouncing silent letters in words reliably.
  • Synthesis: Phonetic symbols are translated into synthesized speech using a digital voice. This voice can then be adjusted and customized for speed, tone, and sometimes accent.

Applications of TTS Technology in the Classroom

The popularity of TTS technology in the classroom is thanks to the countless ways educators can put it to use to make the learning process more accessible, engaging, and enjoyable for students. Some applications include:

  • Reading Assistance: Whether it’s young children learning how to read and looking to improve their literacy skills or those struggling with dyslexia, text-to-speech can readily read textbooks and digital resources aloud.
  • Multimodal: TTS can be particularly beneficial for auditory learners. Listening to content can supplement reading, thus enhancing understanding and retention of information.
  • Language Learning: TTS can help with learning the pronunciation and comprehension of foreign languages.
  • Accessibility: For visually impaired students, TTS becomes an essential tool to access written content alongside their peers and classmates.

Benefits of Text-to-Speech for Students

There are numerous benefits to integrating text-to-speech into the education plan, such as:

  • Inclusivity: Ensures all students, including those with disabilities, have equal access to educational content.
  • Flexibility: Students can listen to content at their own pace using various text-to-speech devices or their own mobile phones.
  • Improved Comprehension: By catering to auditory learners, TTS can enhance understanding.
  • Increased Engagement: Interactive TTS tools can make learning more dynamic and captivating.
  • Reduction in Eye Strain: For students who spend long hours reading, TTS provides a break for their eyes.

Unleash the Power of the Best TTS Software for Education

Due to the recent boom in AI, including TTS, finding the right solution for education is more overwhelming than ever. Numerous factors need to be considered, including the quality of voices, language options, voice customization, and integration capabilities.

This is why over 2 million professionals, creators, and educators have chosen to put their trust in LOVO. We’re one of the industry’s leading AI voice solutions thanks to our powerful voice production platform optimized for user experience and easy to use without compromising quality. With over 500 voices in more than 100 languages, we make TTS easily accessible to educators for all content needs.

Sign up today for free and start using our cutting-edge platform!