How accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? Using the Rainbow Passage to measure accuracy

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 appear “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 classroom 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. (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”
  • Using Clickers 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.

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    Integrating Technology into your Language Arts Public Speaking Lesson

    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  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:

    1. Prewriting: Using a class blog / website to generate ideas
    2. Prewriting: Using Mind Web software to help students brainstorm ideas for their speech
    3. Writing the speech: Using Google Docs to allow student revising / editing and feedback
    4. Practicing the Speech: Watching Examples of Greatness
    5. Practicing the Speech:  Online stopwatch
    6. Practicing the Speech: Video feedback
    7. Assessing the Speech: Peer feedback using clickers

    Continue reading “Integrating Technology into your Language Arts Public Speaking Lesson”

    Make Money Online in the Classroom

    If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve already been indoctrinated into the world of Making Money Online. 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 at summer camp, 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”

    Classroom Technology – Where does the funding come from?

    Classroom technology is great… but where do we get the money to fund the educational technology? I would like to have a class set of laptops for my Grade 7 and 8 students to use: 

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    Education Technology for the Classroom: From Blackboards to Digital Projectors to SMART Boards

    Even though it’s summer vacation in Ontario, we’re still thinking about ways to integrate technology into the classroom.

    In fact, we’re considering investing in a SMART board, so we spent some time reflecting on the pros and cons of some of the educational technologies to help us teach in the classroom.  From low-tech to high-tech, chalk and markers to digital ink, there are many different options:

    Continue reading “Education Technology for the Classroom: From Blackboards to Digital Projectors to SMART Boards”