As a former long-time user of Dragon Naturally Speaking for the PC, I was eager to see if Dragon Dictation would include the same command syntax. Largely, it has. Here are some tips and a quick reference guide to some of the helpful things you can say during your dictation.
Cap to capitalize a word: ‘I was shopping at cap Target”
Caps On for titles: “I was reading caps on The Washington Post”
All Caps to capitalize the next word: “Can we go now all caps PLEASE”
All Caps On and All Caps Off are Caps Lock: “This is all caps on NOT A JOKE all caps off so stop playing”
No Caps, No Caps On, and No Caps Off are the exact opposite of the above: “I like Amy and no caps amy”
Space Bar not only inserts a space, but can be used to prevent a hyphen in normally hyphenated words: ‘A long-lasting or long space bar lasting peace. ‘
No Space for words you want together: ‘Surf on the World no space Wide no space Web ‘
No Space On & No Space Off for words you want together: ‘I was running no space on reallyreallyfast no space off the entire time ‘
New Line starts the following text on a new line, and New Paragraph begins a new paragraph (effectively 1 and 2 carriage returns, respectively).
PUNCTUATION, SYMBOLS, OTHER TIPS:
Say punctuation: period comma apostrophe open-parenthesis close-parenthesis asterisk open quote close quote. Note that you do not need to say apostrophe for possessive names such as ‘Joe ‘s ‘.
There is a difference between a hyphen — like this — and a dash-like this. Similarly, point (in numbers) and period have spacing differences.
Special symbols “ note that many of these will automatically be placed in context, such as the dollar, cent, degree, percent, and at signs:
- % – percent sign
- “ copyright sign
- ® – registered sign
- – section sign
- $ – dollar sign
- “ cent sign
- – degree sign
- ^ – caret
- @ – at sign
- “ pound sterling sign
- # “ pound sign
Note: You must use cent sign explicitly. Saying ‘The price is fifty three cents ‘ will yield ‘The price is $.53 ‘. Say ‘The price is fifty three cent sign ‘.
Email addresses should generally be prefaced with no caps on; most common domains (such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc) are recognized, but you may have to spell others.
Saying ‘www ‘ will result in the formatting of a URL: ‘isource.com/ ‘. Oddly, unlike the desktop version, saying ‘http ‘ does not do the same thing in my testing. I got ‘HDTV ‘ instead.
Hopefully this quick reference will help you make the most of Dragon Dictation. Happy dictating!
I’m starting to use Dragon Dictation more and more on the iPad. It is amazingly adept at sending a quick email, but I was starting to get a little frustrated that all of my text was in one big paragraph and I would spend almost as much time making it look like a proper message as it would have taken me to just type it in the first place.
I did a quick search to just find out how to add lines between my text, and found this great quick-reference on the dictation commands that will work with the app. Not only can you make new lines and paragraphs, but you have complete control over the capitalization, adding punctuation, and more.
I happily dictated an email last night, commanding ‘New Paragraph’ where I wanted one. The only change that I needed to make was to the spelling of the name of the recipient, and the message went quickly on its way. 😀
- Join the conversation and ask questions at TodaysMeet.
- The Basics
- home button – home screen, search screen
- double tap home to access latest apps, plus iPod & brightness controls & how to kill apps
- Creating Folders of apps – can manage this in iTunes as well
- Moving and deleting apps (Home row holds 6!)
- Gestures: Tap, Double tap, tap hold and drag, flip & swipe, pinch to zoom, rotate
- Copy & Paste
- Screen capture – press Home and Power button together to take a screen shot of whatever is on your screen.
- Getting in Gear: Settings
- Airplane mode
- Connecting to a WiFi hotspot
- Location Services?
- Change wallpaper and lock screen image
- Picture Frame
- How much space do I have left? General option will tell you
- Store – sign in to iTunes account (can use multiple accounts)
- Setting up your Google Apps Mail, Contacts & Calendars
- Set up Find My iPad
- File management – Get Dropbox!
- Great educational video content: iTunes U, eMedia & Kahn Academy – TED Online or the TED app
- Web shortcuts – Turns a web site into a clickable app icon. Set your home page, UTIPS page, Pioneer Library, eMedia, Kahn Academy, others?
- Clicker software – eClicker, eClicker Host – set up some quiz questions and show how to take a poll and display results
- Take poll of what participants would still like to learn at http://pollev.com/clint
Noah Rahman has moderate Cerebral Palsy affecting his communication, cognition and upper and lower body movement. When he turned two, his language, cognitive abilitity and fine motor skills were diagnosed by a developmental specialist as being at least 12 months behind. Then Noah got an iPad.
Four months later, his language and cognition were on par with his age level. His fine motor skills had made significant leaps.
Today, the three-year-old (pictured at right with his father) spends an hour or two on his iPad each day. He switches his apps between reading and writing in English, Arabic and Spanish. In the fall, he’ll enter a classroom of five-year-olds. “The iPad unlocked his motivation and his desire because it’s fun,” says his dad Sami Rahman, co-founder of SNApps4Kids, a community of parents, therapists and educators sharing their experiences using the iPad, iPod touch, iPhone and Android to help children with special needs.
SNApps4Kids taps into a burgeoning trend for people with disabilities. Touch devices — most notably the iPad — are revolutionizing the lives of children, adults and seniors with special needs. Rahman estimates some 40,000 apps have been developed for this demographic.
“Touch has made it exceptionally accessible — everyone has an iPad, everyone has an iPod,” says Michelle Diament, cofounder of Disability Scoop, a source for news relating to developmental disabilities. “If you’re someone with a disability, having something that other people are using makes you feel like part of the in-crowd.”
For people lacking motor skills, touch screens are more intuitive devices. There is no mouse, keyboard or pen intercepting their communication with the screen. Larger platforms, like iPads, are preferred over smaller iOS and Android devices for ease-of-use and, of course, the cool factor.
Here are four ways that touch devices are changing the lives of people with disabilities:
1. As a Communicator
Before the iPad and other similar devices, using touch-to-speak technology was incredibly expensive, costing around $8,000. Now, it only costs $499 for an iPad and $189.99 for a thorough touch-to-speak app like Proloquo2Go.
That relative affordability has made the technology more available for children and adults that can’t use their voice. With the simple touch of an iPad, a hungry non-verbal person can communicate exactly what he or she would like to eat. Those apps can then be customized with photos or features to suit an individual’s life and needs.
Another option is Assistive Chat, which predicts several sentence completion options. For the most severely disabled people, Yes|No is a simple app that allows individuals to voice their preference in yes-or-no responses.
“It gives dignity back to people who are more disabled,” says Vicki Windham, a special education teacher in the Clarkstown Central School District who trains people of all ages to make the most of their iPads. Windham reviews apps for people with a variety of special needs.
For hard-of-hearing iPad users, soundAmp R amplifies sound in a variety of situations. Users can also record lectures or presentations they want to listen to again later.
2. As a Therapeutic Device
SNApps4Kids co-founder Cristen Reat’s son Vincent was born with Down syndrome, which can also lead to low-muscle mass. While he can walk, Reat describes his son as a Buddha that prefers to sit still most of the time. Throughout his life, Vincent’s therapists and parents have tried to help him be more active. It was not until his physical therapist placed an iPad on a treadmill that Vincent was motivated to walk. He now stays on for nine and a half minutes, interacting with his iPad while he’s in motion.
In addition to increasing his gross motor ability to walk, Vincent’s iPad has helped his fine motor skills. For Vincent, computers and older technology required visual shifting — between a mouse or keyboard and the screen. On an iPad, Vincent can watch as one of his fingers writes directly on the screen to make selections.
Similarly, Noah Rahman has shown motor improvement. After playing the Elmo Loves ABCs app on his iPad, he can write the entire alphabet, requiring sophisticated finger isolation. As a three-year-old, this puts him well above his grade level. “First it was ‘do it for me,’ then it was ‘do it with me,’ now he does it by himself,” says Noah’s father.
3. As an Educational Tool
Years ago, one of Jeremy Brown’s autistic elementary school students picked up his iPhone off his desk and began navigating the iOS with ease. “It’s like a fish to water,” says Brown, a teacher for autistic elementary school students, of his students’ interactions with touch technology.
Brown is immersed in online discussions of technology and special education, moderating the Facebook group iTeach Special Education, collaborating on the podcast EdCeptional and coauthoring the blog Teaching All Students. While use of the iPad in classrooms is not yet approved in his school district, he believes the iPad is a great supplemental method of instruction, estimating 80% to 90% of his students with autism see great results when using iOS devices. Brown hopes his school district and others across the country will approve iPads in the classroom.
While no one advocates replacing traditional instruction, a number of apps do address academic subjects from math to language to reading and writing. In October 2010, Apple even featured an “Apps for Special Education” section in the App Store.
Brown encourages parents to separate their children’s recreational uses of the iPad from those in the classroom. Some students may watch YouTube videos on the school bus but while they’re at school they know Mr. Brown’s iPads are only for education.
4. As a Behavior Monitor
Behavior Tracker Pro is a popular app for parents, therapists and teachers to quantify the behavioral progress of children with special needs. In addition to taking notes, good and bad behaviors can be video recorded and later reviewed. The app automatically turns that input into visual graphs and charts.
High school teacher Vicki Windman notes that the iPad can also be a great way to strengthen and reinforce memory for seniors with Alzheimer’s or memory loss. Still, she warns that touch technology i
s not a miracle drug: “You’re not curing Alzheimer’s. Parents challenge me all the time — they want a cure. It’s no cure.”
That doesn’t mean it can’t help. Apps like Medication Reminder tell users when it’s time to take medication. Memory Practice, a memory strengthening app, was created for the developer’s mother shortly after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Windman’s father uses an app called Nudge, which gives him a persistent reminder every fifteen minutes to accomplish lapsed tasks on his to-do list.
Despite these successes, SNApps4Kids cofounder Cristen Reat recommends a measured approach. “Just because you buy a device doesn’t mean it’s going to change anything,” she says.
Rahman agrees. He says that viewing the iPad as the solution is the backwards approach. “We are big advocates that the user needs to understand the objectives first before you pick the technology,” Rahman says. “We’re not just putting [our son] in front of an iPad and walking away. That’s the real key.”
Image courtesy of Sami Rahman.
iOS Apps for Special Education (link launches iTunes)
This LiveBinder (a collection of categorized links/sites) on iPads in Schools is very comprehensive. Categories include “For Students”, “For Special Education”, “For Teachers”, “For Administrators”, and several others.
Great information and reference for all of those new iPads in our region!