There are two iOS 7 settings that every teacher needs to turn on if they are using iPads with their students. The first one is called Speak Selection. With Speak Selection enabled, students can have text from websites (and many apps) read aloud to them. Here's how to do it:
Step 1: Go to General on your Settings and choose Accessibility.
Step 2: Next, select Speak Selection and make sure it is turned on.
Step 3: Within Speak Selection, you have a few options. One is Speaking Rate. Make sure the rate is not too fast. You also have the option to highlight words as they are being spoken, which is a nice feature for students who are still learning to read, but older students may not want this feature, as they may feel that it is drawing attention to the fact that Speak Selection is being used.
To use Speak Selection, highlight a section of text on a site. Immediately, a box opens with a couple of options. "Speak" is now one of those options. While the selection is being read, if you have chosen to highlight the words, you will see each word as it is read aloud (see picture, below right). You have the option to pause or copy the selection while listening. The text below is dolphin facts for kids from the website Science Kids.
The other must-have setting you need is Guided Access, found under the Learning tab in Accessibility. With Guided Access turned on, you set up your students in an app and then activate the Guided Access. Now students cannot get out of this app without using a passcode. Not that I don't trust my students (insert smiley face here), but it is easy to get distracted at times. Here is how to do it:
Step 1: Turn on Guided Access.
Step 2: Select "Set Passcode." You will be asked to enter a 4-digit passcode twice. Make sure it is not the same passcode that you have used to unlock your iPad, as your students may already know that one!
Step 3: Make sure the Accessibility Shortcut is turned on also.
That's it. Now, to use it, open the app that you want your students using. When in the app, triple click the home button on your iPad. You will see "Start" in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Tap Start. Your iPad is now locked in this app. To get out of the app, triple click the Home button again. You will be prompted to enter the passcode that you set with the Guided Access. Once you enter the passcode, you will see "End" in the top left of your screen or "Resume" in the top right. Make your selection and you're all set! If you have selected "End," you will see a message that states "Guided Access has ended."
I hope that's helpful!
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher