Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

iPad Tools

Recently in my classroom I've been using a terrific Accessibility feature on the iPad, to help those learners who are lower in reading.  Often I include extensive instructions on particularly my Explain Everything activities to ensure learners remember what they are suppose to do after when they are working independently.  I have in the past used soundbites (using an app called Quickvoice) but I was reminded recently about the "speak" function where learners are able to highlight a piece of text and the iPad will read it to them.

To enable this function on the iPad, go to your Settings.  Under the 'General' option, choose Accessibility.  At the bottom of the first box, select "Speech" and enable the top option "Speak Selection".

My learners used this function within Explain Everything.  They simply highlight the piece of text they are unsure of and select "speak".  The text will be read to them and they know exactly what my instructions said.  NB:  In Explain Everything, the text cannot be locked down if you are wanting to use the speak function - I do occasionally forget this but my learners know to just unlock the text to use this function.


  1. Hi Karen! This is a great tip - thanks! I will try this out on my next EEs :) I hope you are having a great year and enjoying your new home. Missing seeing you around each day!

    1. Thanks Steph! I miss you guys too - great that we can keep in touch via blogs and things :)