No Keyboard for Your iPad? Dictation Made Easy

Yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room, using my "waiting" time as a chance to complete some of my "homework" (I am currently enrolled in an Instructional Technology Certificate program). As part of the class, we had to read a few articles and provide a written response on a discussion board. I jotted down my answers in the spiral notebook that I brought with me to later type on my PC. Then my mind started thinking...hmm...there has to be a better way.

After some searching in the iTunes store, I came across the free Dragon Dictation App. I remember Dragon Naturally Speaking from my days as a middle school computer teacher, when it was naturally viewed as our "arch enemy." I decided to let go of the past and download it!

I was pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of this speech to text app. You simply touch the screen and speak. When you are finished, the  app will take what you said and translate it into text. I started reading from my spiral notebook and compiling my paper. There were a few glitches here and there. It thought I said "gate" instead of "gauge" and there were some grammatical errors.

The program allows you to easily replace, delete and add words. After I filled up a page, I did have some trouble trying to edit and add more text. What I did like is that it allows you to "share" your notes through email or social media. I simply emailed page 1, 2, and 3 to myself so that I could paste them into my response.

This App is very UDL friendly, meaning it provides access to written assignments for ALL students. Whether your student has trouble putting things on paper, has a permanent physical disability, or a temporary injury, this is a great tool to use to help students compile written text. In my opinion, it should never fully replace writing things down on paper or composing a Word Processing document. There are times when we all have to do this. This tool is a great way to help our students become better writers - if it is used as a tool and not as a replacement.

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