AT Tool

Generic AT Feature: Device, software or app-word processor ( speech recognition)

Task-Demands Analysis

The speech recognition software app needs to be able to help the student with a variety of tasks that pertain to writing.

  • Spelling
  • Identify correctly spelled word
  • Use correct homonyms
  • Complete writing tasks with correct spelling

All three products enable a student able to dictate, edit, and format letters using G-Suite.

Product descriptions

Here is a video of comparing the tools in action- This is a video where I actually demonstrate and compare all three. I chose three tools instead of two because in my opinion these three are the three most widely used speech recognition tools in a G-Suite environment,

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The three products that are being reviewed are all very common tools for speech recognition:

  • The Speech recognition Add-on available in G-Suite
  • The Voice Typing tool that is a native tool of G-suite
  • The Talk & Type tool from Texthelp’s Read Write Toolbar.

Each one of the tools has a similar sensitivity and I did not have an error in the test video above, but as I suspected there is a definite delay when comparing the Voice Typing  (G-Suite) to speech recognition (3rd party add-on)

Environment match

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This tool is designed to be utilized while on a laptop or Chromebook type of device. the student who is using the device would be someone with whom a laptop or chromebook is an appropriate choice.  These tools are web based thus there is no hardware requirement other than it is idea for laptop or chromebook.  

These tools can easily be used in a classroom setting provided there is adequate training for the teacher as well as the student on the appropriateness of “when” to use them, and the enough time dedicated on the strategies on “how” to use them

 Physical Context

In addition one might consider purchasing a microphone or using the mic available in a headset to help the accuracy of the recorded word.  All three of the tools are considered low profile and work off a standard laptop or chromebook.

 Sociocultural Context

Analyze the match between the products and the socio-cultural context of the school environment. The socio-cultural context refers to the individuals and groups who interact with the person using AT. It includes social norms and attitudes (of peers, not the user), which can be a facilitator or barrier to implementation.

Institutional Context

Talk & Type is part of Texthelp’s read write toolbar, is a subscription service. Teachers and students can sign up for a 30-day trial.  The price can be off-putting for some school districts, and other school districts that I have worked in are reluctant to get a tool for one student that all students don't have access to.  The tool is available for free for teachers.  The initial setup is also involved, because usernames and passwords are accessed by this third party app.  Depending on the school district and how they interpret FERPA there could be some obstacles to overcome to effectively make this toolbar available.  ( I have consulted in 11 districts to date, some will adamantly not use it, while others made it available for all K-12).  When thinking about using this product one just needs to bear in mind that Texthelp is only accessing directory information of the users. This is usually something that is approved in a District’s Acceptable Use Policy or Internet Use Policy.

Speech Recognition is offered as an Add-on by efv-solutions.com.  Probably the most noteworthy thing to mention is that it is free and can be used by any G-Suite user.  This tool can also be customized so I can choose which words will create specific actions in the speech recognition . For more details please see the website.  One point to consider, is that the Google domain must have the use of add-ons enabled for students to access this tool. Add-ons do access a certain amount of data, usually it is again just directory information which is the most common type accessed by any tool.

Voice Typing is G-Suite’s native speech recognition tool.  There is no initial setup to use this tool which can be very attractive for the site administrator, and teachers involved. No further student data is being accessed than the initial G-Suite account information.

Person match

(body functions, personal factors)

Generally speaking these tools would most likely be best in the hands of a student 2nd  through 12th grade.  It takes time to build comfortability with a laptop device or Chromebook.

This is not a great tool for students that have issues with verbal articulation or need Speech Pathology. Conversely, if the child’s articulation is correctable any of these tools my present motivation to continue that work.