Day 20 – Can’t Write Won’t Write #28daysofwriting Assistive Technology Series

I’ve been busy today being all #teacher5aday, the initiative run by @MartynReah. So this is a quickie.

I blogged about ‘How to train your Dragon’ on Day 4. Using speech recognition takes practice and lots of training – it works brilliantly but not straight away. It also gets better with age as it begins to learn from your vocabulary and documents. Training your dragon takes commitment and patience.

Cue Dragon Dictation on the iPad – this is a simple, free app which allows you to talk while it writes. It’s a marvellous little app. The iPad has in-built voice-over (Day 13) which does the same but I prefer Dragon Dictate. We’ve put it on the SEN Ipads in a school and it has really helped some students. One particularly, who refused to write, refused to let a TA help but would contribute really well in class discussions. This has been perfect.

Dragon Dictate Is not as sophisticated as the ‘proper’ Dragon but it’s less complicated too.

A student could use a wireless headset with mic but if they want to blend in, it works well just talking to the iPad. You can still use simple voice commands such as full stop, new line and correct.

For the student who can’t write and won’t write this may nudge them in the right direction.

(They can also hear it read out using ‘speak’ Day 13)

Warning – I know the IT hated me for this app as it took them ages to work out how to enable it on the school network. If you’re having trouble let me know and I’ll ask what they did.

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