We recently bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium. It’s hard not to got sucked in by their marketing.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 claims on their box that you can just say words and watch them appearÂ “three times faster than typing — with up to 99% recognition accuracy right out of the box.”
This caught our attention because we’re looking for authentic ways to bring technology into the classroomÂ beyond interactive whiteboards and digital projectors:
- As a teacher, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 could make you more efficient. For example, we type out a lot of student feedback and if we really could work three times faster, then it means that we could cut down the time it takes us to mark essays and assignments significantly.
- If you’re a student, chances are you don’t type very quickly. If you have a learning disability, you might even have difficulty getting your ideas down on paper. The idea that you can simply speak out your ideas and the computer will capture them and type them out for you could be very useful for some people.
- (Nuance does provide an academic discount on their Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium to qualified students and teachers. Make sure you read these 10 things to know before you buy the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium education version.)
But just how accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? We’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 every day for the past 17 days.
Before we bought Dragon 11, we did a fair bit of research online.Â (Originally we bought the student/teacher version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium. But, we returned that and eventually bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium wireless because it comes bundled with a Bluetooth headset.)
Google brings up a lots of sites repeating this idea that with Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS), you can get up to 99% accuracy.
Now that we have Dragon NaturallySpeaking, we’re curious to see how accurate it really is for the average user.
Results: how accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking?
What did we learn from all of this? Continue reading “How accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? Using the Rainbow Passage to measure accuracy”
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 UPDATE
Are you a student or teacher? Are you thinking about getting Dragon NaturallySpeaking? Did you know there’s a student/teacher version which is $100 cheaper than the regular premium edition?
Here are 10 things to know before you buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Student/Teacher:
We just got Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Wireless Premium and we are cautiously optimistic. We’re trying to figure out whether speech recognition software can make us more efficient, as well as how good it would be in the classroom.
Right now, this post is being written using Dragon and Internet Explorer. (I did have to use some keyboard clicking and mouse highlighting when I was editing.)
I’m not sure if it’s easier to speak our ideas rather than typing this post, but that could be because we’re just starting out. Here are some of our first impressions. We’ll follow up with a second post in a month to see if our thoughts change after we become better acquainted with the program. Continue reading “Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 in the Classroom”
Our school is fortunate enough to have access to interactive whiteboards (SMARTboards), SMART airliner tablets, and a class set of clickers.
If we were going to invest our own personal money into our classroom technology, we would definetely get a class set of clickers over the airliner tablet or interactive whiteboard. No contest. Here’s why.
Continue reading “Using Clickers in the Classroom”
We’ve been teaching our speech unit to Grade 7 and 8 students for several years, but this is the first year we’ve really had an opportunity to integrate different types of technologies into our English lesson.
Let’s be honest. Most students hate doing speeches. They don’t like spending the time to write the speech, revise their work, or to present in front of their classmates who might bully them if they don’t pick a topic that’s popular, original, or cool.
Having said that, overall, students (including lower-end students and disengaged boys) were more interested Â in our unit because the technology hooked them in a meaningful way. (As opposed to technology for technology’s sake.)
Here’s what we did:
- Prewriting: Using a class blog / website to generate ideas
- Prewriting: Using Mind Web software to help students brainstorm ideas for their speech
- Writing the speech: Using Google Docs to allow student revising / editing and feedback
- Practicing the Speech: Watching Examples of Greatness
- Practicing the Speech:Â Online stopwatch
- Practicing the Speech: Video feedback
- Assessing the Speech: Peer feedback using clickers
We run several classroom blogs and professional sites, including this blog on using educational technology in the classroom. Mostly we use WordPress, but lately we’ve been experimenting with bulleting boards (phpBB) for our online literature circles.
You can only go so far with free accounts, whether they’re with Blogger, WordPress.com, Edublogs, or Wikispaces. Eventually, you want to be able to do more. That’s when we looked into setting up a self-hosted WordPress account and looked into finding a web host.
Up until now, we’ve been quite happy with BlueHost. They use Simple Scripts to let you set up a variety of websites with the click of a button, including WordPress, phpBB, etc.
So, what changed?
Continue reading “Why we’re thinking about leaving Bluehost and finding a new home for our Classroom Blogs”
If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve already been indoctrinated into the world of Making Money Online.Â Just do a search using one of the big 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft), and you’ll see ads beside your results.
When we were growing up, we made money as teens by mowing the lawn, babysitting the neighbour’s kids, or having a paper route. As we got older, we started to get our first job: working atÂ summer camp,Â a fast food joint or the local supermarket. Finally, we went to college or university to earn a degree and get a “real” job.
So it can be hard for us to understand that kids want to (and can) make money online.
Here are two things to think about:
1. Make money online as a teacher to help offset the costs of your technology-integrated classroom.
2. Explore the topic of Making money online with your students (either as a media literacy unit or as an extra-curricular club.)
Continue reading “Make Money Online in the Classroom”
At the end of June, our Grade 8 Language Arts (English) classÂ experimented with using Twitter in the classroom.
Continue reading “Twitter in the Classroom”
We’re thinking about starting an entrepreneurial (Make Money Online) extra-curricular computer club at school: applying critical reading, writing and thinking skills while trying our hand at online fundraising for our school.Â
We’ll probably start with making niche-websites that are monetized by contextual ads (i.e. Google Adsense). Google has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to click fraud (i.e. clicking on your own ads.) And while making money online ethically will be the corner-stone of our club, it’s hard to believe that students won’t be tempted to click on the ads on their own at home.Â
So, we need a way to hide the google ads from showing up to students in our city so they can’t click on their own ads, but still show google ads to the rest of the world.
Continue reading “Hide Google Ads based on Geographic Location (Country or City)”
Classroom technology is great… but where do we get the money to fund the educational technology?Â I would like to have a class set of laptops for my Grade 7 and 8 students to use:Â
Continue reading “Classroom Technology – Where does the funding come from?”