Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Google Updates

There have been a flurry of updates around Google lately - from the announcement of a holding company Alphabet to new logos and beyond:

I am very excited about the new addition to Google Docs, a tool called Voice Typing. You find it under Tools - Voice typing

This will pop up a little box with a microphone icon in it, to activate the dictation function, you will have to click on the icon:

There are a number of punctuation commands: "Period", comma", "exclamation point", "question mark", "new line" and "new paragraph" according to Google Docs editor help. I have also found that it started responding to "full stop" after several attempts.
You might see a grey line appear under some of your dictated text. Right-click on this and you will get some suggestions:

The 'so what': Why do I care, and why should you?

I have blogged before about the value of digital storytelling, by looking at incorporating different ways of telling our stories rather than just in text. I believe that this nifty little tool will allow students to tell their stories orally and turn it into text for them without having to go through the often painfully slow typing process.  I could see this especially helpful for students with special learning needs, if offered as one of multiple means of expression and action. Students still have to edit their text to ensure that it represents what they want to say, so they have to engage with the text further.
Combine this with a Chrome Extension like Read & Write for Google, even just on the free version, for students to have the option to hear this text spoken back to them and I think we are really onto a winner here. Not only are we allowing students to get their text to paper without having to physically type it, we are also lightening the cognitive load on them a little, allowing them to spend more time on getting their story just right. Taking away barriers allows us to focus on what is really important - the learning.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting, I love to know you were here! Please leave your comment below.