Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Google Voice Typing & 2nd grade Homework

My 2nd grade daughter is a whirling dervish.  She is sharp, intelligent, but she cannot sit still. Get her excited about something and she will talk... and talk.... and talk.... and talk about the topic. But I notice that when she is asked to write or type something, those quick thoughts fly away rather than travel down her arm on to the page.

When I reflect on why I like blogging, it has as much to do with my interest in the written word as it also does with the dexterity of my fingers and the voices in my head. My younger years of playing piano have transitioned from playing the ivory keys to flying over the QWERTY keyboard.  To be honest, I was never a virtuoso, but a very shy piano player, never truly confident in my abilities and reluctant to play for others. While I could play a classical piece of sheet music, I couldn't hear the music in my head if I was asked to improv for jazz band.  Relating this to writing, as my fingers fly over the keyboard, I can hear in my head the words I want to appear on the page. My thoughts quickly travel down my arm and out of my fingers on to the screen because I am a proficient typist.  My students are always wowed by this parlor trick:  I can type coherent sentences with correct punctuation and spelling without looking at the screen. It creeps them out when I'm looking at them as they talk to me, but typing something on the computer.

So last night, my 2nd grade daughter's homework included typing up a paragraph about rainforest
animals.  What could take me a few minutes to type up a paragraph would take my daughter eons to get on the screen.  What to do?  I wanted her to do the homework herself, rather than me typing it up for her, but her typing skills are not developed yet.  And as I'm trying to clean up dishes after a long day of school, it wasn't feasible to take the time for her to practice typing AND writing at the same time.  So using Google Voice Typing, we were able to separate the skills of typing and writing AND get the homework completed in a short amount of time.

Our Process:
  1. Open a new Google Document
  2. Go to TOOLS, select Voice Typing
  3. My daughter and I discussed the topic prior to hitting the record icon. Then when she knew what she wanted to say, she hit record.
  4. My daughter spoke her thoughts aloud and Google captured her words on the screen.
  5. Using the keyboard, my daughter edited her work, moved the cursor, hit record, and would clarify areas that needed revision. 
  6. When the paragraph was completed, she learned to use CONTROL-A to select all the text and chose a font to style her work.
Proud Mama captured the moments: 

When I think about my 9th grade ELA students who struggle with writing, I wonder if they have similar issues: their brains are working too quickly and their fingers can't write or type fast enough to capture the thoughts on the page. With Google Voice Typing on our class set of Chromebooks, students could record themselves or a partner answering an open-ended response question and once the words are on the page, they could work together to edit and revise the response. Due to time constraints, so much the writing process is condensed and by the time students get to high school they are expected to have proficient fine-motor skills to write or type quickly.  One look at any papers I may collect and you will be able to distinguish the proficient writers based on their penmanship and the words on the page. 

Google Voice Typing can help any fast-thinking, whirling dervish of a student to get his/her words on the page so that more time can be spent crafting their writing as opposed to recording it. 

Change that to "Click to Write!"

1 comment:

  1. Thats nice. With your experience I feel that Google voice typing is not only helping kids to complete their task but it is also helping parents to save their time in helping their kids.