Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Universal Design for Learning tip: Audio recorded reading accommodations using Vocaroo.com

Vocaroo.com is the simplest free audio recording tool I know of. It's not perfect (no editing and no permanent storage) but it works well and it works fast. It also has simple tools for downloading, linking, and creating QR codes for the audio you've recorded. This makes Vocaroo great for quickly adding audio supports to any instructional resource.

Unlike verbal reading accommodations, I've noticed that students are more engaged by audio recordings and tend to pause and review the recordings more than they would ask me to repeat myself. The recordings also provide students greater autonomy over the pace of the reading. 

In my old school we even started providing screencast and audio recordings as an option for all students. It became a universal support, destigmatized the accomodation, and became an embedded practice for supporting all instruction, not just assessments.

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