Looking for some better quality text-to-speech voices beyond Microsoft Sam and Mary? Sample these voices at TextAloud. Scroll down to listen to a number of different quality voices for use with text-to-speech. They have recently added Acapela voices which are very high quality. You can sample these here, prior to purchase.
This site is excellent for a wide selection of different voices at a low cost. In addition, they offer a variety of language choices as well. How would that work with our students learning other languages? A new instruction tool worth exploring??
The Mac has had text-to-speech built into the OS forever but the voice quality, though fun to play with (Bells! Zarvox!) was less than optimal. Enter Cepstral voices. Check these out at Cepstral. I think you will be impressed! I know, I was thrilled to hear that there are finally good quality voices available for the Mac.