A lot of pupils are great at telling stories orally but when it comes to writing their ideas down, they really struggle. If you're using Google Docs within your school then your pupils can make use of the Google voice typing function, which allows them to dictate their work directly into a document. We tested it out recently and it recognised all the common words that we spoke as well as more obscure ones such as ‘coelacanth’, ‘octogenarian’ and ‘disestablishmentarianism'. It even added asterisks to swear words too which could be useful if you have some 'live wires' in your class.

You can also add punctuation to your docuement too: you just say ‘comma’, ‘full stop’, ‘question mark’ and ‘hyphen’ for the symbols to appear. If you’re typing a long document, you can use the handy commands ‘new line’ and ‘new paragraph’, which work perfectly. The program understands 40 languages but, for the moment, only works when using Docs in Chrome.

To enable voice typing, click the Tools menu at the top of an open Google document and click ‘Voice typing’.

You can then just click the microphone icon and start talking. For more instructions and troubleshooting advice, you can go to Google’s ‘Docs editors Help’ section.


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Gary Hall Gary Hall is based in East Yorkshire, England, and has a background in education, marketing and technology. This site is a collection of ideas and resources on these topics.