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Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Education

Speech Recognition Software Helps Students of All Abilities Realise their Full Potential

Accessibility and Productivity Tools for Students and Teachers

Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software is helping to enhance the educational process for students and teachers alike. It has been shown to improve core reading and writing skills for students of all abilities, including those with physical or language-based learning disabilities as well as English Language Learners. Dragon lets students dictate papers and assignments three times faster than typing — with up to 99% accuracy. It also lets them control their computer desktop and applications by voice to get more done faster — whether they’re sending email, taking notes, doing research on the web or creating a presentation. Dragon is widely used in secondary business education and computer applications courses to familiarise students with emerging interfaces. Plus, many teachers rely on the software as a productivity tool to help them manage their overwhelming administrative workload. With all these advantages, it’s no wonder that Dragon is being used in more primary and secondary schools today — with great results.

Opening Up New Opportunities in the Academic Setting

  • Improves core reading and rewriting skills for students of all abilities
  • Helps students with language-based learning disabilities more easily express themselves in writing
  • Provides accessibility for teachers and students with physical disabilities that hamper typing
  • Bridges English Language Learners’ oral and written communication skills
  • Prepares students to use emerging interfaces in the 21st century workforce
  • Enables teachers to prepare more detailed assessments of student work through dictation

Details

For Students of All Abilities
Dragon has been shown to improve reading and writing skills for students of all abilities. Dictation requires students to read aloud, a practice that not only increases oral reading efficiency, but can drive improvements in word recognition and pronunciation as well as reading fluency and comprehension. Since reading aloud is not widely practised as students progress to secondary school, Dragon provides a great way to keep students’ oral reading skills sharp. 

Many teachers are also using Dragon to help reinforce composition skills based on the "Six Traits of Writing.” Students brainstorm their ideas/content, organise their thoughts, determine their purpose/voice, develop their sentence structure and apply overall writing mechanics by composing with their voice instead of paper and pencil or a keyboard. For many students, this approach yields better composition, improved grammar skills and expanded use of vocabulary.

For Physically Challenged Students
Students with physical disabilities, especially those who do not have use of their hands for keyboarding, use Dragon for accessibility purposes. It provides greater independence, eliminates the need for a dictation buddy and helps these students keep pace with their non-disabled peers. Dragon’s also a great solution for students suffering from repetitive stress injuries, like carpel tunnel syndrome, that make keyboarding painful, if not impossible. It can also help prevent RSIs in the first place.

For Students with Learning Disabilities
Students with certain learning disabilities, especially those with language-based learning disabilities like dyslexia and working memory issues, use Dragon to help them with writing by taking the focus off the mechanics of composition — spelling, sentence structure, etc — so it’s easier to transfer ideas into written words.

For English Language Learners (ELLs)
Research has shown that ELLs, also known as emergent bilinguals, can benefit from using Dragon to harness their oral English skills to advance their academic writing. Studies have also shown that Dragon can support ELLs with note taking, paraphrasing, fluency, word comprehension and pronunciation – skills that can help drive academic success.

For Business Education Students
Dragon is being integrated into traditional secondary and post-secondary business courses across the US to prepare students for the 21st century workplace. Dragon is the perfect speech input technology choice for business education curriculum because it’s remarkably easy to learn; it’s highly accurate for the vast majority of speakers; it’s a proven student productivity tool; and it’s available in many languages.

For Teachers
With Dragon, teachers can read and respond to students' essays quickly and easily. They can add more comments and detailed notes because they’re not constrained by time-consuming hand-written feedback – not to mention poor penmanship! With a wireless headset, teachers reviewing assignments and providing dictated feedback are no longer tied so closely to the desk and computer. They can move around as they dictate notes to students or sit back and relax as they add comments to papers.

Applications

STUDENTS 

Write and format papers and presentations
Dragon’s fast, accurate dictation capabilities make it easier for students to transfer thoughts and ideas into written text without worrying about spelling mistakes. Dragon also makes it simple to edit and format documents by voice. It provides direct commands for formatting, deleting and copying words and passages. For example, it enables students to name the target text and desired action in a single voice command, such as "Bold very.” They can even designate a whole passage by quoting its first and last word(s).  Furthermore, Dragon provides fine control over the form, spacing and capitalisation of items written in various contexts.

Take notes for papers and assignments
Dragon saves students time by letting them take notes by simply talking to their computers or speaking into a Nuance-certified handheld digital recorder for later transcription on their PC. No more cramped fingers from jotting down notes by hand. They can just dictate important facts as they read print or online material.

Conduct Internet-based research  
Students can use simple spoken commands to find information on the Internet or files on their computer. They can locate information quickly and easily by simply saying things like, "Search the web for global warming articles,” "Search Wikipedia for Winston Churchill,” or "Search eBay for Batman comic books.”

Communicate with peers and teachers
With Dragon, students can send email and IMs to collaborate on group or classroom projects — entirely by voice.  They can use their voice to compose and send both email and instant messages to classmates and teachers, enabling full participation in group projects that require ongoing communication, collaboration and sharing of information.

TEACHERS

Prepare lesson plans and assignments
Because Dragon enables users to dictate three times faster than typing — with up to 99% accuracy —teachers can prepare lesson plans, syllabi, reading lists, worksheets and more faster than ever before.

Assess Student Work
Teachers can use Dragon to provide more detailed feedback when assessing student work — from papers to research projects to tests — with unprecedented speed and ease.

Send and Manage Email
Like other professionals, teachers are often bombarded with up to hundreds of emails a day — from colleagues, administrators, parents and students. With Dragon, they can control email applications and compose and reply to messages — all by voice — to keep up with the administrative aspect of their job.

Testimonials

Students

David Gayes:
"I am a second year student at Dominican University. I have spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Throughout secondary school, blogging and now college, Dragon has been an invaluable tool in helping me put down my thoughts on paper in an efficient and effective way. I began using Dragon NaturallySpeaking early in secondary school. I am unable to handwrite, and I wanted to be able to share my thoughts independently without the hassle of having to dictate to someone else. I soon realised that Dragon could level the playing field for me. Thanks to this programme, I was able to write in a way that worked for me. Using my voice to dictate, rather than my hands to write or type enabled me to overcome a barrier to academic success. As I look ahead, I see that Dragon NaturallySpeaking will be an integral part of my future success."

A parent:
"For our 12 year old son, school was a nightmare. His Aspergers made the work tedious, his dyslexia was frustrating and his dysgraphia made handwriting extremely difficult and exhausting. According to him, it was torture every day until he met the Dragon. It took a bit of practice and he was frustrated when the Dragon didn't understand him. He even was heard reprimanding the Dragon for making mistakes! Soon, however, he and the Dragon became fast friends. Sometimes they would play too much and Alex enjoyed tricking the Dragon with sound effects. It's now almost 4 years later and Alex and the Dragon are still friends. Alex has been able to write wonderfully imaginative stories with the help of the Dragon, as well as complete other academic projects in secondary school. Now, he and the Dragon talk often which allows his ideas to be communicated more effectively so that the true Alex shines through. Thank you Dragon!"

A parent:
"For eight years my child has had exceptional challenges in the classroom. It began in nursery school and he is now in primary 7. We were told that he didn't recognise vowel sounds and that his reading skills were very poor. We tried everything to determine his problem and to get him assistance. I immediately went to work to get an IEP (individualised education programme) developed for him so that he would have assistance in the classroom. …Dragon has allowed him to have perfect notes, which has also helped him improve his grades from C's and D's to ALL B's. Not only are we thrilled for him, but his self-esteem has dramatically improved and he has so much self-confidence! This programme has been worth every penny that we paid. …We are thrilled with this programme and the best part is that now he talks about wanting to go on to college, where before he adamantly refused because he was so frustrated with school that he felt like college would be impossible. This programme has changed my child's life drastically for the better and to hear him speaking of going to college because of what Dragon can do for him........truly a success story!!"

Michael Campisi:
"I am 16 years old. I was born prematurely at 26 weeks. My early birth left me with many medical problems. In particular, cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus have caused me to struggle in school. I am unable to look downward for long periods of time and tire easily. As you can imagine, this has made some of my school work impossible, such as scribing. There was always more information in my mind than I could ever get onto paper. Six years ago, as school became more demanding, I was given a one-on-one personal aide to scribe all of my notes, projects, homework, tests and various daily activities. This worked extremely well for many years. Now that I am a teenager and going into secondary school next year, I wanted to become independent. It was becoming a social problem to have this wonderful caring aide by my side all day long. Kids were beginning to tease me. At last year's IEP, I heard about a programme that could help me by doing all the typing for me by voice recognition. It was Dragon Naturally Speaking. I had a trial period with Dragon all last summer and from the moment I started the programme, I felt like it was designed especially for my needs. It was the answer to all my prayers. The school agreed and provided me with the programme to use during my school years. While I will always be thankful for my personal aide, I am thrilled to be able to go to secondary school with the greatest gift of all.... independence. Thanks so much Nuance. You were the answer to my prayers."

Teachers

Amy Hale:
"Dragon NaturallySpeaking has absolutely changed my life! I am what you might call a cyber professor, I teach Humanities and Anthropology to students around the world entirely online. In order to make a living this way, I have to teach a lot of classes. With the volume of students I teach, I read a lot of emails, mark a lot of essays and facilitate many discussion boards every week. When my classroom-based colleagues ask me what my secret is, I tell them quite simply that it is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon allows me to effectively and efficiently provide my students with the attention and feedback they deserve. It works with all of my learning management systems, and I can navigate the web with ease.”

Andrea Feidi:
"I was born in Italy, and after I completed my Bachelor at the University of Florence, I got married and moved to Canada first, then to the US, when I was offered a position to teach Italian language and culture at the University of Stony Brook. Every term, I teach courses in Italian, designed for our Italian majors (most of whom proceed to become secondary school language teachers), and courses in English, including one on Italian civilization from the foundation of Rome to the Renaissance, which has more than 200 students every spring. … Even though I am not a native speaker of English, and I speak with an accent that is still noticeable, thanks to the progress made by Dragon through the years and to the option of training the programme to recognise my less-than-perfect pronunciation, I'm able to use it every day for several hours and, occasionally, in class. Every term I send out an average of 1000 email messages, in both Italian and English, all of them comfortably dictated into my computer. .... In my opinion, there's no better way to work for a professional in the humanities, whose world is practically made up entirely of words.”

Jay:
"I have been teaching part-time as an adjunct professor from George Mason University, Fairfax County Virginia for the past few years. Recently, I made the switch from the brick-and-mortar school to the online community by accepting a teaching assignment with the University of Phoenix. One of the fundamental differences of teaching online is that all your interaction is done in an online format that requires extensive feedback. I was intrigued with the possibility of being able to provide feedback to my student’s papers/essays while speaking to the computer … I’m very happy to say six months into the programme. I have nothing but positive comments. While there has been a slight learning curve, it has not been anywhere near as dramatic as I originally thought. So now I am free to give in-depth detailed responses to my students to a level that was not afforded to me before. This has proven to be beneficial to me, but I think it's really more beneficial to my students. I am able to explain in detail those areas that were well done, and those areas that need improvement. This has truly been a wonderful tool and a tremendous enhancement to my teaching.”

Jerry Kaber:
"I use Dragon to correct college student assignments. It allows me to quickly address corrections and recommendations to the writer in a comfortable and easy manner. The reaction from the students is that they seem to think I am talking to them instead of using very brief messages that are not very candid or in any detail. I can add enormous detail very easily. When correcting papers one tends to use very limited explanations to the writer, but with Dragon one can easily explain complex ideas and elaborate issues very easily. Using it along with the Microsoft check tracker, the statement dictated stands out in any colour you like. I have influenced many faculty to use it and especially those that are doing research and writing books.”

Katherine Kantardjieff:
"I am the faculty coordinator for academic technology on my campus, Cal State Fullerton, where I have pioneered the use of web conferencing tools to create synchronous and blended learning environments in a variety of courses, including chemistry. Because we are also trying to find creative ways to encourage faculty campus-wide to explore technology in teaching, and we must keep the learning curve fairly shallow in training them to create ADA compliant course sites and materials, I have explored using various tools in combination. Our campus has an enterprise licence for ilinc, which many faculties use. I liked what I read about Dragon, purchased it, learned it and then began experimenting with its use in tandem with ilinc. This has created a beautiful solution to create a fully ADA compliant synchronous course environment. Students can see my presentation, hear my audio AND, with Dragon, a transcript of what I say is beautifully captured in the chat box. I can record the entire session, and the chat thread can be post-edited for punctuation, stray typographical errors or odd scientific terms/symbols.”

Leo Benoit:
"I work at an AT (Assistive Technology) centre in New Hampshire… For many years now I have taught teachers, so that they can help their students with learning disabilities, workers with physical limitations and people who use it for recreational purposes as well. Because of [Dragon] I can write more intelligently than before. This is not because I did not have a good vocabulary I just did not know how to spell the words that would give my writing power. I would use smaller words such as big instead of gigantic, bike instead of bicycle and happy instead of joyful. It has helped me and countless others achieve their goals in life, I know this because as an assistant technologist I have introduced Dragon NaturallySpeaking to others who need assistive technology to access their
computers.”

An online educator:
"I had a colleague tell me about Dragon NaturallySpeaking a few years ago. I was always in awe of how fast she could turn around a graded paper, or dash off a note to a student in AIM or email. So, I decided to give it a try for myself. I have found that my feedback to students is more comprehensive, my discussion posts richer and my email responses more direct through the use of speech recognition software. Before using this software I would try and limit my comments in essays because after 50 essays or so my hands were just too tired to give them more than the bare feedback relative to what the problem is. Now, with Dragon I can write feedback comments that are specific to that student without costing me any additional time.”

Richard Belcastro:
"I teach classes at the local community college. I receive hundreds of email messages per week requiring a timely response regarding student assignments, homework and class content clarification. Dragon allows me to be most efficient and effective in completing this important part of my job. I can blast through my email messages without lifting a finger and sometimes completing other tasks in parallel. I also use Dragon to create, publish and maintain the classroom material for projection and handouts.”

Tpapich:
"I teach on-line classes at a local university, I have students from all over the world and currently have 15 students. As part of the class there is a discussion area, in which the students post answers to my questions as well as respond to other students. It used to take me over 2 hours a day to keep up with the postings and responding to the individual students postings, with Dragon I cut the time down to less than 20 minutes a day and I feel my responses are more insightful and help the students understand the topics better.”

White papers/Videos

Dragon for Education
Dragon® NaturallySpeaking®, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software for the PC, enables students, teachers and school administrators to talk to their computers and watch their spoken words appear in documents, email, instant messages and more — three times faster than most people type — with up to 99% accuracy.

Helping All Students Reach Their Full Potential
This white paper outlines how speech recognition is being used today to enhance the educational process for students and teachers alike. It provides detailed information on how the technology can be successfully leveraged as an assistive technology for students with physical and learning disabilities, as an integral part of business curriculum at secondary school level and as a productivity-enhancing tool for teachers and school administrators.

Pricing

ACADEMIC PRICING AVAILABLE FOR BOX PRODUCT AND VOLUME LICENSING

Dragon is packaged in multiple product editions with feature sets that vary based on user needs. The Dragon Premium Student/Teacher edition is boxed for individual users (more details). In addition, Nuance offers educators the opportunity to take advantage of the advanced features and enterprise deployment benefits of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional with academic volume licence discounts.

Benefits of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional include:

Tools for Learning & Accessibility

  • Automation of complex or repetitive tasks with voice commands: Simple voice commands can significantly minimise the need for mouse and keyboard activity. Students and/or teachers can create or import powerful voice commands (with or without VBA-style scripting) to automate daily computer activities.

Support for Multiple Users

  • Enterprise Profile Management: This advanced feature allows a student or teacher to work on multiple workstations with a single user/voice profile
  • Advanced Security Features for Enterprise Deployments
  • Network Administration Tools: Administration tools simplify enterprise-wide installation and support centralised management of voice profiles, custom vocabularies and multiple installations; Dragon Professional also offers the ability to set default options during installation to be applied to any new profile

Important notice before purchasing as an individual user.

Proof of academic status required to install product. You will be required to validate your educational status. Visit http://www.nuance.co.uk/educationvalidation for more information.

Technical Support
For Customers
A student in our summer programme was struggling with his writing; rushing to get his thoughts out and skipping words he couldn’t spell... After training on Dragon for about an hour and 15 minutes, this student was able to complete a high-quality, six-page paper on Heller Keller in a single evening. 
-Kathy Burris
Assistive Technology Coordinator & Educator
Landmark College
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