Google Docs has added Voice Typing to the Google Document! This built in feature allows anyone using Google Docs in the Chrome web browser to dictate text that will be typed.
This built in accessibility feature will be extremely useful for students with special needs because it levels the playing field and provides all students with the opportunity to use the same tools in the classroom. Best of all, It’s easy to use and free!
To use Google Voice Typing successfully, users must acquire dictation skills. They need to be taught how to use punctuation and how to correct mistakes. They also need to be taught how to edit and revise after the first draft is dictated.
Locating Google Voice Typing
The voice typing tool can be conveniently found in the Tools Menu of a Google Document. While the feature is not yet available in a Slides, I would guess it’s coming. In the meantime, students can dictate text in the document and copy and paste it into Slides.
According to Google Docs help, here are common phrases that need to be spoken to punctuate and format dictated text.
- “Exclamation point”
- “Question mark”
- “New line”
- “New paragraph”
Students can highlight and delete a mistake without turning off the microphone. Once a mistake has been deleted, users can type the correction in it’s place and then move the cursor to it’s desired location to continue with diction. After the draft is completed, students should be expected to engage in the revision process of course.
Voice typing currently supports the following languages:
You must use Google Chrome on a computer to access the Voice Typing. Although this feature is not available through Chrome on a mobile device, the microphone option on the keyboard of an iPad provides similar functionality. All you have to do is enable Siri through Settings on an iPad to add the microphone to your keyboard.
Thoughts and a Wish List
Voice Typing is very simple to use and it works well. I’m very appreciative of adding this built in accessibility feature to such a widely used educational tool. Now how about a simple to use, build in word prediction tool that works in Chrome? I realize there are some extensions and 3rd party tools, but to truly be accessible to all students, it needs to be built in.