Dictation, translating spoken word into text, is a popular means for inputting text for text messages. Dictation is accessible with screen readers such as Apple's VoiceOver. When the VoiceOver focus is on the Messages text box, the student simply uses a two-finger double tap to start or stop dictation. However, these same students rarely think about using dictation when writing school reports in Word-type documents. For some students, dictation is more efficient than typing text using the on-screen keyboard or a physical keyboard. Students who have physical issues often benefit significantly from dictation. Dictation may also be a great option for adults who have Repetitive Strain Injury (from excess amount of typing) and for a growing number of elderly people have finger-joint pain from arthritis. Educators, have you considered if dictation might be beneficial tool for your student to input text into Word-type documents?
Note: Students should learn write/type before using dictation. Dictation should not be a shortcut; dictation should be one tool in the toolbox. Students who are physically not able to write/type may be an exception if traditional writing/keyboarding is truly not an option.
No matter what operating system and software you use, you can find a variety of free and paid dictation tools. The article, How to set up voice dictation on the computer and save your aching fingers shares directions on how to set up the most popular processors: Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs. Standard dictation options are accessible with screen readers.