Using Transcription Software in the Classroom
September 30, 2008 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone used a live transcribing software as an educational tool in the classroom?

I've looked a little bit into this program, Dragon Software in English OR Dragon Software in French and am wondering if anyone has used it in the classroom live with students.

I teach French, and thought that if the program was good enough, and most importantly allowed you to speak normally and not goofily in order for it to recognise the words, then it could be really helpful for students to see the words as they appeared on the screen.

Obviously, I would need it to be a wireless mic and have the option of switching it off at a moment's notice. If anyone has any experience with this product or something very similar that they use in the classroom I'd be very interested to hear about your experience. Thanks!
posted by fantasticninety to Education (2 answers total)
I'm Deaf (actually, thinking of me as hard of hearing may make more sense in this context), so I use a captioning service in class to supplement the hearing I do have. The university I'm at pays professionals (who use specialized equipment, and have a minimum of two years of training in their system) quite a bit of money to do this; you can bet that if they could get anything even close to acceptable by buying DragonSoft and some microphones, they'd jump at the chance. And that's in classrooms that are entirely monolingual.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2008

Dragon may not be the best for your purposes.

Typically, each person using Dragon on a certain computer will have their own profile. It takes about 5 minutes of training (where you read specific text to the computer) for Dragon to get used to your voice. As you use the software it continues to train up on your voice. B/c of those features, it's difficult for someone else to use your profile and get satisfactory results.

You can create a profile w/o training, but the accuracy will be reduced.

Dragon is great though; there have been fantastic advances in the last few years. You can speak normally while dictating. Take a look at David Pogue's video review in the NYT for an example.

If you do decide to use Dragon, you can put it into dictation mode so that it won't try to do formatting or windows commands.

The cheapest version of Dragon is pretty cheap though, so it's not that much of an investment.

However, you have to buy each language separately.
posted by reddot at 10:16 AM on October 1, 2008

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