Common Sense Review
Updated September 2012

Dragon Dictation

Empowers kids to express themselves, but accuracy is limited
Common Sense Rating 2
  • Clean user interface. Simply tap and talk.
  • Slight delay means students can’t see what they’re dictating in real time.
  • Notes in progress are displayed on the main screen and in the sidebar.
  • Many options for sending and sharing work.
  • Find tips to improve accuracy under the "i" tab.
Pros
Great way for struggling writers to jumpstart an essay.
Cons
Accuracy issues means speaking clearly is a must.
Bottom Line
Easy-to-use dictation app can help students improve speaking and writing, but they’ll have to watch for and fix mistakes.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 2
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Clean, intuitive, well-designed user interface makes this app engaging -- unless the app makes too many dictation mistakes.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 2

Kids learn by viewing their words as they appear on the app in text form. All learning here is experiential. There are no formal lessons. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

The "i" tab at the bottom-right corner of the screen includes tips for best accuracy that parents and teachers will want to read to help kids maximize accuracy. 

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

In the classroom, some educators have noted that Dragon Dictation can be a useful tool for communication, especially for kids with limited fine motor skills or other special needs. Kids with limited writing abilities can use Dragon Dictation to express their thoughts, complete creative writing projects, and read or share them with others. Going through the process of dictation and revision may help them develop their own writing, spelling, and punctuation skills too. This learning will need facilitation since there aren’t any formal lessons in communication or writing skills, and without it kids may let mistakes slide. 

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What's It Like?

Dragon Dictation allows users to record and send written text in dozens of languages via email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or cut and paste. Simply tap record, speak, and dictate as many notes as you’d like of up to 60 seconds each. While there’s no formal language instruction, kids can benefit from its use as a tool for writing or assessing speaking. Dragon Dictation may be especially useful for kids with limited ability to write or type or with learning disabilities like dyslexia or dysgraphia.

Since many younger kids may not speak clearly, teachers will need to monitor accuracy. Also, kids need to learn to speak punctuation aloud (e.g., "I like cake period Do you like cake question mark"). If the app misunderstands a word, users can go back to that word, where they’ll be prompted to delete and re-speak or enter the word. Certain letters from some swear words are filtered out like "f--k" and "s--t," but others are not filtered like "hell" and "damn."

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Is It Good For Learning?

In the classroom, some educators have noted that Dragon Dictation can be a useful tool for communication, especially for kids with limited fine motor skills or other special needs. Kids with limited writing abilities can use Dragon Dictation to express their thoughts, complete creative writing projects, and read or share them with others. Going through the process of dictation and revision may help them develop their own writing, spelling, and punctuation skills too. This learning will need facilitation since there aren’t any formal lessons in communication or writing skills, and without it kids may let mistakes slide. 

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See how teachers are using Dragon Dictation

Lesson Plans

  • Paging Dr. You
    Science
    Grade 9
    Ken K.
    Alburnett Junior/Senior High School
    Alburnett, IA
    6 steps
    February 2, 2016