Monday, 2 February 2015

Speech Recognition Add-on for Google Docs

I'm always on the hunt for tools that make taking part in education easier for all learners with their varying needs - here you can find a number of my blog posts to do with UDL. Over the weekend I saw mention of the Speech Recognition Add-on for Google Docs by +Allanah King which sounds very promising.

How to install Speech Recognition:
Make sure you are signed in to your Google account. Go to any existing or a new Google Doc, select Add-Ons, select Get add-ons. Type Speech Recognition into the search bar, then install this free add-on.

How to use Speech Recognition:
Here is a handy little tutorial.

My experience with Speech Recognition:
I expected my pronunciation  (German accent on New Zealand English) to potentially cause some issues (as it did in Spell Up) and dictating my first sentence proved rather frustrating, it took 5+ attempts to get it right. During this, I moved through various English accents to see if one of them would pick my pronunciation up better than another. Frustrated I changed it to 'Deutsch' = German, interestingly no different accents available at this stage, and it picked up my German beautifully (German after all, passport or not!). When I then returned to English, most my sentences transcribed correctly in both New Zealand and Australian English. The add-on does not recognise words in te reo Māori we commonly use in New Zealand.

The 'so what':
My vision is to have my learners access, engage with and share their learning no matter what their needs are. Some students are not engaging with or able to type. While some devices will have their own in-built dictation mechanism, this Speech Recognition Add-on for Google Docs can allow learners young and old enter text by voice. In addition, the potential editing required after to correct text might prove very valuable.

Please share ideas and examples of how you use this or other tools to improve your students' learning!