This week I have been on another learning adventure. I am taking a class about accessibility and Universal Design for Learning. Each time I take a class, I am reminded that I have a lot to learn about technology. This week, I learned about a couple of features in Google Slides and Google Docs that I missed. I will share two of the features.
The first feature is the Google Docs’ speech-to-text functionality. I had the Dragon software, and it did not like my voice. I was never able to program the software to understand what I was saying. I was ecstatic when Word upgraded to include speech-to-text. I have been using Word’s speech-to-text. This week, I was happy when it was pointed out that the feature is also in Google Docs. How did I miss that? Shame on me for being late to the party!
I like it because sometimes I want to include a script with my videos. If I open the speech-to-text feature, I can make scripts and put them under my videos. I thought it worked well, and I can imagine the possibilities for students.
Last year, I was working with elementary students. They were asked to write reports. Sometimes their thoughts were more complex than their ability to write. The speech-to-text feature can be helpful for fluency and helping students to expedite their work. No, I am not trying to make things too easy for them. I want them to be able to articulate and edit their responses.
The next feature I noticed was in Google Slides. If you click on “Present” and click the captions button, Google will automatically create captions for your presentations while you speak. Sometimes, I upload my presentations to Vimeo instead of YouTube because Vimeo offers password protection. The drawback for me is that my Vimeo videos do not have the captioning. Although YouTube has automatic captions (which should be edited), it is more complicated to add captions in Vimeo. If I use Vimeo, I must add a script for accessibility. Now, if I use ScreenCastify in association with a Google Slides presentation, I have captions.
Automatic captions can be helpful to your audience when you are presenting. Including the captions can increase comprehension and fluency for students that are struggling. Also, audience members that cannot hear well can still enjoy the presentation. As Richard Byrne notes in his video, you do have to speak slowly and background noise can interfere with the captions.
So those were my professional development quick finds for this month. Do you have additional features in Google Slides and Docs that you would like to share?
The October professional development opportunities are listed below.
Note: The picture in this post was purchased from DepositPhotos.com.
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