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Voice to Text for Reluctant Writers

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Started by Jillian Norrie 06 May 2012 3:45pm () Replies (12)

I am currently experimenting with QuickVoice2Text Email. I am hoping that it will help the extremely reluctant Year 5 writers in my class. We use several wonderful story writing apps, but they are just not enough enthuse them. The voice file has to be emailed and arrives about 5 - 10 minutes later in the form of text. It can then be copied and pasted into one of the apps. Has anyone used this before? It would be wonderful to hear any tips, advice or alternatives.


  • Cyndi Kruijer (View all users posts) 06 May 2012 4:10pm ()

    Hi Jillian

    I use ReadPlease (PC only) in my Writing Programme.  Instantly plays back in an american voice.  I have used it with New Entrant through to Yr4 and with a booster group of relactant writers yr5-6.  The free version will not print so to get around that the kids copy and paste onto a word document. 


    Or on a Mac - hylight the text on any document that you want read back -hold option escape down together and a voice in your computer will read the text.  Choose the voice in Systems preferences.  American voices too :(

    Hope these help


  • Jillian Norrie (View all users posts) 06 May 2012 4:22pm ()

    Thanks for the ideas, Cyndi. There seem to be many apps that read the text, but what I really want are ones that work the other way around. In other words, create text from the voice input Smile.

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 06 May 2012 4:56pm ()

    Try Voice Dictation ($1:29)


    You choose which accent you want- I try with English AU as being closest geographically to NZ.

    Exports to editable text, Pages, SMS, email, Facebook. Twitter

  • Karen Mills (View all users posts) 28 Jun 2012 2:49pm ()

    Thanks Allanah, have downloaded this App and it is awesome. I shared it with our Literacy Specialist and she loves it for your reluctant writers or writers who struggle with the physical aspect of writing.

  • Chris THEOBALD (View all users posts) 06 May 2012 6:03pm ()

    Kia Ora Jillian,

    I am only talking from my experience with my iPhone - but, when i am writing a text or email i have the ability to tap a mic. button on the bottom of the keyboard and record my speech.

    I presume an ipad has the same function. Do you have an ipad for the kids to use? They could cut and paste from the email app the text they need?

    Just an idea?



  • Jillian Norrie (View all users posts) 06 May 2012 7:05pm ()

    Hi Chris


    Neither my class iPods or iPads seem to have this facility. Perhaps it's only available to those of us lucky enough to have the very latest devices?Smile

  • Susan McMillan (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2012 5:02pm ()

    I am working with older boys who struggle to read.  I want to be able to scan small amounts of text initially and then use the voice to text option on my mac to assist the reading of the text and then to focus on comprehension skills and responding to the text. I would like to be able to use the text and/or what is learned from it, using apps as well. My problem is scanning and saving - so that I can select the text to be read.  I can rewrite it into a Word doc but that takes too long. I'm sure it can be done.  I don't seem to be able to select text in a pdf. Can anyone help?

  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2012 6:05pm ()


    if your upload  your scanned file to Google Docs you can have it converted to text, simply tick the options whenthe window appears, from there you can save the doc or copy and paste into other docs.

    Have used it a few times and does work pretty well......

  • Susan McMillan (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2012 5:28pm ()

    Thanks Eric. I have learned more but not solved my difficulty. Maybe the problem arises because the page is not exactly entirely a text document. I followed your instructions but I'm still unable to select text. The page seems to be saved as a picture no matter what I do.  Originally the page is sectioned, has free hand illustrations and  additional text in a  box.  Maybe I needed to isolate the sections of text and scan individually.  No matter - learning curve and I'm grateful for your help.  I've relented with the obsession of saving the page as it is and used OCR with Text Edit.  Now I only have to control the voice as it wants to read it all and I want to be able to move through the document gradually.  I'm pretty sure I can sort that tho'.  Thanks again.

  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2012 8:08pm ()
    I've tested Susans page and have managed to make a full conversion.
    This is what I noted and fixed to improve text conversion in Google Docs...

    1) try and scan with the bulk of the text you want, as linear and horizontal as you can, this will increase your chances of getting a successful conversion. I managed to get most of the text converted with the page on a slant, but as soon as I corrected the angle, the results improved.
    Try to scan it in the correct orientation on the scanner or make the adjustment in a graphics program later.

    2) scan the page and output as a jpg (image file) again if you can adjust the setting on the scanner, or can be converted using software later.

    3) scan as high a resolution as possible - bearing in mind the max. file size for Google Docs to convert is 2MB. I found 100dpi minimum.

    3) if possible try and limit/remove the black edges of the scanned page. Not essential but it does improve results. You can crop the image with software. Seems to work better if the page edges are white.

    Also keep in mind when there are two columns of text, google docs looks at the horizontal line of text so the text is mixed.... ie you'll need to do some editing.... on a small this page not a major, but if you
    had a whole page of text in columns it could be an issue...
  • Jillian Norrie (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2012 7:10pm ()

    We use a free app called Natural Reader on our laptops. It works really well.

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