Which is Better? Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium on your Computer or the Free Dragon Dictation App on your iPhone / iPad?

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 costs anywhere from $99 for the home edition, to several hundred dollars for more premium editions (unless you qualify for the academic student / teacher discount.) In comparison, the iPad and iPhone app for Dragon NaturallySpeaking is free. So, which product is better and more accurate at transcribing speech?

We read the rainbow passage to both the Dragon Dictation iPad app and to our Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 on our computer at the same time to see which application was better. We used the Calisto wireless headset while reading directly into our iPad:

Continue reading “Which is Better? Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium on your Computer or the Free Dragon Dictation App on your iPhone / iPad?”

Clickers in the classroom improve student understanding and engagement

Technology should not be used in the classroom. At least, that’s what some people believe. A colleague of ours who is doing his Masters in Education, recently told us that some people in his class are strongly against integrating technology into the classroom: technology is an unnecessary distraction.

On the other hand, technology can be used to engage students as well.

Assessment for learning can be done in real-time using clickers which are handheld devices used to send in multiple choice answers (think game show.)

The Vancouver Sun recently reported on a study conducted at the University of British Columbia. The results of this study have prompted UBC to “completely revamp its giant first-year physics classes.” Continue reading “Clickers in the classroom improve student understanding and engagement”

Dropbox saved hours of marking by restoring an accidentally deleted mark file

Things go wrong. The problem with computers is that they never work when you need them to and the closer we get to report cards, the more things tend to go wrong.

Has this ever happened to you?

  • A) You accidentally delete a file but for some reason, you can’t recover it from the recycle bin.
  • B) You’re working in Microsoft Word or your Markbook software and accidentally make a change and then save your work. Now you can’t go back because you just saved over your work.
  • C) Something goes wrong and the computer accidentally corrupts your file so it won’t open any more.
  • D) All of the above.

This week, students presented speeches in the classroom. Students used clickers for peer assessment. Unfortunately things went wrong – the clicker software told us there was an error compressing the database, and then poof – our data was gone. An entire day of presentation marks gone.

There was some panic, some frustration, and then we used Dropbox to find and restore our deleted mark file. Continue reading “Dropbox saved hours of marking by restoring an accidentally deleted mark file”