Monday, 25 August 2014

Dragon Dictate

Today I thought I would give the kiwi version of Dragon Dictate on iPad a trial and see if the boys had the oral language skill to be able to dictate their writing. I have had the American version of Dragon Dictate for a while. It was not available in the New Zealand iTunes store as it was not optimised for our accent.

I had high hopes that it would be more accurate now it has been released to New Zealand.

On opening the app it asked for access to my contacts. I disallowed as the thought of it being able to access my contacts made me nervous. So I would expect that recognising names might be problematic but I am not sure what use access to my contacts might give it.

I quickly showed the boys how to work the app. I decided to have them start and stop recording so it better teaches the boys about speaking in sentences and doesn't give the app too much to do at one time.

The app sort of got most of the words right but so much time was spent fixing up the missed text that I wonder how useful it would be long term.

We were trying to write, 'The fish tried to get away' but even after practising the sentence a couple of times the best we could manage was, 'Best try to keep away.' Not really helping a lot.

I asked the boys which they preferred and they said they wanted to persist with it.

I wonder what else we can do to make the app more responsive???

Any thoughts????? How have you found it?


  1. Have you tried using a set of iPhone earphones/microphone. May "focus" the sound a little better?

  2. Allanah used the same sentence you used. It recorded correctly. I did not use a mic or move the tablet off lap closer to mouth.

    I do recall selecting NZ & Aussie voice match see if you can find this selection option.

    I have had success with this and really like the ability to speak the punctuation in.

    Have fun experimenting

  3. I suggest persevering with it. I've had the paid version for the PC, and found it so good that I bought another for school. It definitely works better with a good quality microphone. I've also tried the iPad app and found that it works well at home, but that I can't figure out how to get it to work through our proxy server at school.
    It certainly has great possibilities - especially with those reluctant writers who have good ideas.
    All the best!

  4. HI

    I have also used this with great success as an adult. when I had my 9 year old son use it we had mixed results :(

    He did think it was a funny app when it invented interesting sentences.
    We too will persist as it did get some of the words and sentences right.


  5. Yes Yvonne I selected Australian/New Zealand as the language choice. I will persevere with a microphone and see if that is any better. I have some good Apple earbuds but I don't fancy them being in different kids ears.

    I have some bluetooth headphones with a microphone attached- I could try that.

    Thanks every one for encouraging to give it another try.

  6. I used this for the first time this morning with a low ability writing student. It interpreted our voice speak very easily for the most part, with some notable exceptions: the word Ninjago just didn't gell with it! So I would say that overall the Dragon Dictation App is helpful for our lower ability writing students, but we need to be mindful of the lack of vocabulary (word bank) in such a device.

  7. My advice I give younger kids is "Talk Like a Robot" this seems to make them slow down and pronounce their words better. Has worked well for me in the past.

  8. Thanks for the tip Danny.

    I will give it a go next time.


Hi team

Your suggestions and feedback are very much appreciated.