iWordQ US app for the iPad (24.99) is a word prediction app developed by Quillsoft, producers of WordQ and SpeakQ. iWordQ app provides both word prediction and text to speech options for struggling readers and writers.
The iWordQ app menu provides the tools of the reading and writing modes featured in the app:
Writing Mode: The tools on the menu (left) provide the following writing mode options:
- Create a new document or open an existing document
- Email the document, open a document in other apps option, copy the document
- Writing Options provides settings including:
- Word Prediction options – maximum predictions (3-10 words), turning predictions on/off, usage examples, creative spelling, position of the predictions. Arrows indicate word phrases are available
- Vocabulary options – adding your own vocabulary and vocabulary usage examples (vocabulary list)
- Abbreviation options – ability to create your own abbreviation expansion word list
- Appearance – choice of color schemes (paper, white or black) and font (6 choices)
- Speech – Exceptions to pronunciations allowing modifying the pronunciations of words and a choice of Ryan or Heather voice
- iPad Features – you can control auto-correction, spelling suggestions and definitions within the app
- Dropbox linking options
- Using a triple tap in the writing mode provides text to speech with word by word highlighting
- Zooming in and out with text reflow is available in writing (and reading) mode.
Writing options are easy to access and change within the menus.
Reading Mode: The menu tools on the right dedicate the app to the reading mode. Several options how the text is read aloud are provided in the app.
Reading Mode Options include:
- Text Chunking on/off
- Pause time for text chunking (.5 , .75, 1.0 seconds)
- Reading speed (Very slow, slow, normal, fast very fast)
- Line spacing (1.2, 1.5, 2.0)
Other Reading Mode features include:
- The iPad onscreen keyboard and writing tools are hidden when in reading mode. The current sentence is provided in black text with the surrounding text in grey to focus attention on the sentence. Tapping another sentence selects it to be read.
- Three different modes of reading are available using the buttons on the left: play by steps (speaks sentence then advances to next sentence), play sentence (speaks sentence, stops at end), play automatically (advances through sentences to end of document)
- Text chunking is another feature provided by iWordQ, allowing text spoken in chunks to allow the listener to comprehend segments of text read a loud. Text below shows black versus grayed text provided in the reading mode.
- Text can also be swiped over to read by word or chunks of words in the reading mode.
iWordQ provides many desired supports for writing and reading for students with learning disabilities within one app. Options of adding vocabulary, modifying pronunciations, modes of text read, abbreviation expansion, line spacing options, enlarging text with zooming, and highlighting of text when read a loud are seldom found in one app.
As a text reader, electronic text can be copied and pasted into the app to be used for reading text gathered from a document or the internet for access to struggling readers. Using iWordQ on a iPad3 further provides this app with the possibility of the basic tools of Dragon Dictation, integrated into the keyboard as a writing support as appropriate to the user.
iWordQ provides many great options. An options that I would like to expanded include providing additional background colors in the reading or writing modes. Currently paper, white and black are provided, however blue, green, gray or bright pink backgrounds, often suited to individuals with learning disabilities, ADHD or light sensitivity (see Judy Sweeney’s article on Color as Assistive Technology) would be welcome additions. Color filter sheets, such as those available from See it Right, can be added to the iPad screen for those students benefitting from such filters when reading or writing. It also would be great if it interfaced with Google Docs or Google Drive, an online resources for students in our school district.
Thank you to Quillsoft for their generosity supplying the app for review. iWordQ is a welcome addition to my app collection for students with learning disabilities. WordQ software for the PC has been a favorite for its stability and usability on the PC and appears comparable on the iPad. This app will be a great compliment to the apps currently being selected for students with learning disabilities who will be involved with exploring use of iPads at the middle school level.
Will this be in your OT iTool Kit?