Online Students Say Listening Equals Learning

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An exciting new survey of TextAloud users from NextUp.com finds listening via Text-to-Speech is a great way to learn.

Text-to-Speech (TTS) software leader NextUp.com (http://www.NextUp.com) has released its Customer Survey, which focused on users who utilize its text-to-speech software TextAloud for online learning purposes.

The 2005 TextAloud Online Learning Customer Survey was conducted over a two-week period in May 2005, and turns a spotlight on one of today's fastest-growing phenomena -- online, or remote, learning. Using the power of voice synthesis to "speak aloud" documents, web pages, e-mail and more, TextAloud allows its users to convert text seamlessly into spoken audio for easy listening, study, and comprehension. Thanks to TextAloud, users can not only learn remotely on their PC, far from any brick-and-mortar school -- but they can now carry those lessons with them. TextAloud saves to MP3/Windows Media files for easy playback on portables like the iPod, Rio, iRiver, PocketPC, and dozens more, for learning and enhanced study wherever they may go. With nearly 95% of survey respondents using TextAloud as a vital part of their study routines, the Online Survey makes a powerful case for text-to-speech software as a valuable learning tool.

Previous NextUp customer feedback showed that TextAloud users included a large number of people who were pursuing their studies via online learning institutions. NextUp's new survey is designed to learn more about how TextAloud is helping its users get more out of their educational goals and pursuits.

"Online Learning takes learning out of the classroom: TextAloud takes it out into the world," comments Ken White, CEO of NextUp.com. "TextAloud proves to be the perfect accompaniment to the freedom and flexibility of online learning."

2005 Survey Results at a Glance

NextUp's survey of TextAloud customers who utilize the product for online learning covered a wide array of learning situations and subjects, with user answers proving surprisingly diverse when it came to ages, degrees, areas of interest, and more.

The Survey results showed:

  • Online Learning is Truly for All Ages -- The online world is often considered to be the territory of the very young -- yet the vast majority of TextAloud users in an online learning setting are 36 and older (at 83%)! 39% of respondents were age 46-55, while a respectable 8% were 56 or older.
  • University of Phoenix Leading Online Learning Provider -- The leader in surveyed online learning providers was University of Phoenix by a significant margin (nearly 60%) -- followed by a rich assortment of learning institutions from all across America -- and beyond.
  • Text-to-Speech is an Essential Part of Study -- A whopping 94% responded that TextAloud is an essential study tool, helping users to read and retain knowledge no matter where they are. Meanwhile, Reading was the overwhelming choice of over 50% of respondents when asked in what aspect of their studies TextAloud proved most helpful.
  • Convenience and Flexibility -- The majority of respondents chose online learning for its convenience (50%); with (in a similar vein) many respondents holding down full-time work schedules (22%). Learning remotely is for many the only opportunity to learn and work at the same time.
  • Brave New World (27% New to Online Learning) -- A surprisingly large percentage of the respondents to our survey were new to online learning, with over 27 percent enrolled for less than one year.
  • Classloads -- Nearly 40% of survey respondents are enrolled at significant levels, taking between 6-15 hours of study per week. Further, about 40% more take part in more than 16 hours of formal classwork per week.

  • Education Levels in Survey Respondents -- Over 50% of TextAloud's Online Learning Survey respondents report having achieved a Master's Degree level of education or higher.
  • Area of Emphasis -- Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents to the online learning survey are using TextAloud to pursue educations in Computer/IT (27%), with Education at 19%, and Business and Science rounding out the top choices at 11% apiece.

The results speak loud and clear: Text-to-Speech Programs like TextAloud can be an essential part of the online learning process -- and may significantly contribute to productivity, knowledge retention, and success in the remote classroom.

About TextAloud 2.0

Recently nominated for a 2005 Shareware Industry Association Award, TextAloud is a full-featured Text-to-Speech tool offering direct support for Word, PDF and HTML formats, as well as advanced pronunciation tools, an Internet Explorer Plug-In for easy listening of favorite web pages -- and more.

Hailed by critics and users alike, TextAloud is priced at just $29.95, and is compatible with systems using Windows 98, NT, 2000 and XP. The program is available for fast, safe and secure purchase via http://www.NextUp.com. NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices™, NeoSpeech and Cepstral for the most natural-sounding computer speech anywhere.

About NextUp.com

NextUp.com, a division of NextUp Technologies, LLC, provides award-winning Text-to-Speech software for consumers, business customers, educators, and those with visual impairment or learning disabilities.

In addition to TextAloud, NextUp.com markets other innovative Windows software designed to save time and deliver vital information. NewsAloud™ is a talking personal "news agent" that finds the stories users want, and then reads them aloud or to portable MP3 files. WeatherAloud™ is a weather application that lets users select and listen to personalized weather forecasts, while StocksAloud™ reads stock updates and related news headlines aloud for specific companies of interest. Most recently, NextUp also released NextUp Talker 1.0, an easy and affordable program that allows people who have lost their voices to use the latest in high-quality computer voices to communicate with others.

Note to Editors:

Evaluation copies of TextAloud 2.0 are currently available upon request. To receive a review copy, or for more information on NextUp.com or TextAloud, please contact Rick Ellis at rdellis (at) nextup.com. Meanwhile, for images, logos, box shots, or other information or artwork on TextAloud 2.0, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043.

All companies and products referenced in this press release, including TextAloud, Windows, and more are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Angela Mitchell