We all have students in our classes who struggle to express their thoughts, ideas, and responses in writing. Consider the frustration and embarrassment of the student. Imagine how it must feel each time writing is assigned. What kinds of attitudes about school, learning, and himself does this foster? Fortunately, there is a support available. Google offers a free speech-to-text feature in google.docs called Voice Typing. It's quick, accurate, and easy to use.
Consider using Voice Typing with your students as an option. You'll be pleased with the results, and the students who use it will be, too. Imagine how satisfying it would be for your struggling writers to be able to bypass the barrier of scratching out a slow response with a pencil and paper.
Of course, there certainly can be value in drafting one's thoughts on paper and we're not suggesting that this be completely neglected. However, if our goal is for students to demonstrate understanding of a topic, the processes involved in communicating understanding should be open and supportive of the students needs. With Voice Typing, the text-based product is the same as if it were written by hand or keyboard.
If your students do not have google accounts, no problem. You can sign up for one and have students use yours right in the classoom. Or you can always try the speech-to-text feature in Word.
Here are a few tips in getting started...
*Google docs available at https://www.google.com/docs/about/
*To access Voice Typing, click TOOLS then click VOICE TYPING.
*Your media specialist will have a microphone for your classroom. Your media center probably has
headsets with microphones.
*A quick tutorial: