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You are Now Entering the Twilight Zone:

Dictation Tools: 


Dictation is an assistive technology tool that can help people with writing challenges. With dictation technology, people can write sentences by speaking them. Dictation is sometimes called “speech-to-text,” “voice-to-text,” or “speech recognition” technology. Dictation tools include software, apps, and extensions that transcribe speech.

Dictation tools can be utilized for numerous helpful reasons. First, they eliminate the problem of having to decipher bad handwriting. Second, they help students spell words correctly. Third, they can help students document their important ideas before they forget them. Finally, dictation tools make writing more comfortable, easier, and less daunting.

Which Students Benefit:

Because the benefits of dictation tools address problems a specific group of people faces, they benefit more from using dictation tools. For example, those with dysgraphia, which is not well-known. Dysgraphia is “a disorder of writing ability at any stage, including problems with letter formation and legibility, letter spacing, spelling, fine motor coordination, rate of writing grammar, and composition.” Getting rid of the focus to write correctly, those who struggle with manual writing will benefit from speaking instead of writing their English assignments. Also, more commonly known, those with dyslexia, attention deficits, and physical ailments benefit from dictation tools.

Apple Dictation:

Since the benefits of dictation tools have been addressed, you may wonder what some of these tools are. MacBooks have the free built-in dictation software called “Apple Dictation,” once the software is enabled, it can be used “in any software that supports typing, aside from Google Docs.” This software can easily be enabled through the keyboard settings of a MacBook. Once it is enabled and the dictation key is specified, clicking this command key while on a word processing program will enable “Apple Dictation,” and it will type out what is spoken.

Windows Dictation:

But, if a student does not have a MacBook, do not worry because “Windows has a built-in voice typing tool with which you can dictate to your computer, and it’s completely free and easy to set up and use.” It can be a little buggy, only on Windows 10 and 11. To enable “Window’s voice typing,” you must press the Windows key on the keyboard and the H key while having the cursor over a text box in a Word document, and then you may begin speaking.

Although other word processing programs have free, built-in dictation tools, and although there are dictation websites, apps,

and extensions, “Apple Dictation” and “Windows Voice Typing” are free, easy to use, and accessible.

About the Episode:

Since the theme of our presentation was the Twilight Zone, everyone tried to connect whatever they were talking about to an episode from the show. The episode used for this part of the presentation was The Twilight Zone’s 89th episode called “To Serve Man,” where 9-foot-tall aliens called Kanamits visited Earth with a mission: to make a utopia out of Earth by providing it with advanced technologies that would ease tensions and make life easier. Similarly, dictation tools ease tensions and eliminate issues around writing through advanced technology. In h end, it turned out that the Kanamit aliens only wanted to eat humans and were growing humans to consume them, but dictation tools retained their helpful nature. We can now use this advanced technology to better our futures as writers and tutors.

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