Bookshare Releases Bookshare Web Reader
I had a chance to try the Bookshare Web Reader, just today, and I am very pleased with how it worked. The installation of the Chrome extension was simple to do and by simply logging into a Demo Individual account, I could click on the Read Now link which automatically opened the Bookshare Web Reader. Bookshare Web Reader, has an easy to use tool bar at the top of the Browser which lets you navigate the book and start and stop the Text to Speech engine. By clicking on the Gear icon- it will pop up a dialog box that will allow you to change some of the reading and visual settings. Students can change the look and feel of the book and can determine just how fast they would like the text to be read. Working with the Bookshare Web Reader, I did not see a way to change the speech engine and I am guessing that the Bookshare Web Reader, uses a text to speech engine that is installed with the Web Reader Extension. If I had to make a recommendation, I would like to see a range of speech engines that students can select from in future releases of this product. Overall, Bookshare Web Reader makes accessing Bookshare books easy and straight forward and eliminates the need to have a full blown reading application installed on the computer. As we remove more and more friction from the reading experience, more students will find it second nature to utilize their Bookshare accounts with the Bookshare Web Reader to access their books- and in the end, that is what's really important.