Parents' Guide to

Claro ScanPen

By Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Easy-to-use tool that gives voice to printed text.

Claro ScanPen Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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The optical character recognition (OCR) technology that converts text to audio is as good as it gets. Arguably, the most impressive feature is how quickly it allows kids to snap a picture, process the page, highlight, listen, and move on to the next page. Though not intended to replace reading-comprehension instruction, this app levels the playing field for content-heavy reading tasks, especially as kids gather information to meet classroom demands. One disadvantage is that the voice reading the text is computerized, so emphasis is not always placed on the right words in a sentence. Also, if a page is not scanned clearly, the computerized voice will only read independent letters it identifies: Some kids may not understand what's happening and may grow more confused about what they're hearing. As they use the app and learn how to troubleshoot the blurry parts of text, kids will grow more confident in the process. So long as the user takes a clear picture of typed text (not handwritten), this tool makes text much more accessible to kids who struggle with reading.

App Details

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