Otago Polytechnic

Farewell to ReadSpeaker

From August 1st 2019, ReadSpeaker will no longer be available on Moodle. ReadSpeaker is a text-to-speech programme that can read aloud text and pdfs through Moodle. You may have noticed the ReadSpeaker icons that appeared beside a text document or in a block at the right hand side of the screen. The use of ReadSpeaker was isolated to Moodle and was not available outside of our Learning Management System (Moodle).

ReadSpeaker example

What next?

Do not fear! While ReadSpeaker is no longer available, there are several free or already available applications that can perform a similar function. The Online Learning Tools page on the Student Support – Te Ama Tauira website has a list of apps and videos explaining how to use them. Danni Holley, the Disability Advisor, is also available to discuss support options tailored to you or a learner’s individual needs.  

Here are a couple of tools to consider:

Visit the Online Learning Tools page for more options and information.


NaturalReader is a free software tool (with an option to upgrade to paid version). With NaturalReader you can load PDF files and Office documents to be read aloud, as well as web pages. Speech rate can be sped up or slowed down. The paid upgrade can read aloud as you type (letter, word or sentence). It also has word prediction and spell check. NaturalReader also works as a Chrome browser extension which can read all tabs of your internet browser.

Learning Tools - Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is part of the the Office Learning Tools already available to all OP staff and students through the Office 365 ProPlus package. Immersive Reader is available in Microsoft OneNote, Word, and Teams and allows learners to improve a wide range of literacy skills, including comprehension, reading fluency, and written expression. 

Google Docs – Type with your voice

Type with your voice is free to everyone, you can access this through the Chrome browser. With Type with your voice, you can type and edit by speaking in Google Docs or in Google Slides speaker notes. Use your computer microphone to use voice typing or voice commands. This can also be used in conjunction with the paid application Read and Write, which supports reading and writing as a Chrome extension. 


A free Chrome browser app, ClaroSpeak is a text-to-speech tool. You can copy and paste text into it. You can also type into it and have it echo each word. It includes a spell checker and speaking dictionary. 


Disability support is a free service to support OP students who identify as having a disability that will impact on their ability to participate in learning. Their aim is to support you and your students to succeed.

Contact Danni Holley, the Disability Advisor at Student Success at anytime. 


Image: Audiobook by Felix Letchenfeld, licensed under a Pixabay License (free for use).

Published on 23 Jul 2019

Orderdate: 23 Jul 2019
Expiry: 31 Oct 2019