Apple Dictation (microphone icon) - Speech-to-Text Feature
Did you know that you don't need apps like Dragon Dictate in order to transcribe spoken words into an Apple computer, iPhone or iPad? Apple products come with a Dictation feature that's different than Siri. You activate it by hitting the microphone key that comes up with the onscreen keyboard on an iPad or iPhone. To learn more about how to enable this feature on an Apple computer, read this article.
It's now considered hip to have an iPhone or iPad and to know how to use the latest features and apps. If your student is lucky enough to have one, I say, encourage him or her to use Apple Dictation (or Siri) instead of defaulting to Dragon Dictate. For one thing, I've found that Apple Dictation is a heartier app than either Siri or Dragon Dictate.
In my experience, Apple Dictation commits fewer errors than Siri. It also works well taking dictation voices other than its owner's. Dragon Dictate, on the other hand, seems to imprint onto the original user's voice, causing the app to malfunction if you ask it to take dictation from a different voice, like from a recorded interview or a video you're trying to transcribe. As a documentarian, I've used Apple Dictate to transcribe parts of interviews when I can't find a transcriber.
Unlike Siri, Apple Dictation will work on your iPhone or iPad even when there's no internet available. Siri, on the other hand, needs to access Apple Servers in order to do her thing. If you want to use Apple Dictation on your Mac computer when there's no internet available, go into System Preferences and click "Use Enhanced Dictation" or click here for more detail.
SOME TIPS FOR DICTATION SUCCESS. One tip I would give for any dictation app, is that you use the microphone on your earbuds and hold it up to your mouth while talking. Also, to encounter fewer mistakes, speak slowly, clearly and with intention.
SPEAK YOUR PUNCTUATION. It's also essential to speak your punctuation into your dictation. In other words, you must say, "Hi Carey COMMA Do you have any time to meet this week QUESTION MARK." Trying to put punctuation into a spoken dictation afterward is a daunting task if it's at all lengthy. It's necessary to explicitly teach kids how to speak punctuation as it doesn't come naturally. I plan to do this by developing an exercise where the student and I send short, fun texts to each other, incorporating emoji's like "smiley" and "winky." Texting is what got me to finally learn to speak punctuation and I plan to share that motivational trick with my students.