Educational Software Thread, Speech Recognition Software in Technical; Our SENCo wants to have some speech recognition software on the system for some of our more disadvantaged children.
15th October 2009, 09:21 AM #1
Speech Recognition Software
Our SENCo wants to have some speech recognition software on the system for some of our more disadvantaged children.
I don't know much about it, she is looking at DragonNaturallySpeaking?
Does anyone have any experience of this or any other system?
Please can I have any feedback or examples of very good software
15th October 2009, 09:34 AM #2
Dragon and ViaVoice are the two I have worked with before - ViaVoice a long time ago on a Becta project in mainstream, Dragon more recently in the SEN school I work in now. Can't really compare the two as they were so far apart in versions but I did find Dragon quite impressive - one thing to note, depending on what type of kids you are working with, is that the training can be quite tough to get them through.
Before you start using it properly, you have to go through reading a number of passages to it so it can learn your voice patterns etc - with our kids this was a huge task in itself as we are a school for speech and language difficulties. If you couple this with problems with reading, it meant that to do the training one of our SLTs had to sit with the student and whisper them the phrase which was on the screen a word at a time - and even then, it would still steadfastly refuse to recognise a few of the words which is quite frustrating for kids who are already struggling. There was an option to select a simpler passage to read through, which we used, but even this was still a bit much for some of our students - may be different in your case, will obviously depend on what kind of SEN you are.
15th October 2009, 10:24 AM #3
Our SEN have tried on various occasions to use Dragon NS but to no avail as it really requires the student to be fairly articulate in the voice training which can take up so much time, this time could be used to better advantage they have told me.
One tool they do use is the windows text to speech engine along with another product called Read Write7 which I know has newer versions but they seem to like this one very much.
15th October 2009, 10:30 AM #4
The issue I see with speech recognition is that there are 2 types - 1 for natural language recognition (all products of this type require the said 'training', which can and will cause trouble), and the other is the 'command' recognition (similar to the tool used on eeePC's which requires you to talk with a US accent). The latter is very good at recognising individual commands, so long as it doesn't have many to differentiate between, the prior is good so long as you spend hours training it.
I don't think speech recognition is the best tool to use in a school due to this.
As with bossman, our SEN dept don't use it, but they do use the text to speech engine a lot (with textease).
15th October 2009, 10:47 AM #5
I've tried this before, in a similar fashion to OutToLunch, and got similar results. Again, this was a little while ago now so things might have moved on a bit. There's another thread here:
Originally Posted by witch
Dragon naturally speaking
I asked all the relevant questions I could think of, based on my experience sat in an average classroom trying to get special needs pupils to use speech recognition software. The gist of the thread seems to be that it's manageable but it will take both time and money. You'll need a decent quality audio input, and some (most?) modern PCs / laptops can be quite poor.
Thanks to dhicks from:
witch (15th October 2009)
15th October 2009, 10:50 AM #6
Thanks - I thought I had searched for it!
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