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Type or Dictate Instead of Writing

A wide variety of reasons keep students from writing easily, and fortunately, a wide variety of programs and apps exist to help aid students in their typing in its place. Try the following to help 

Add a new language keyboard (Mac or Windows instructions)

For those students that are taking a language course and must type their work, one option is to install a language keyboard. Keep in mind that this changes some of the keys' functions, so students will have to re-learn how to type. Ask your language teacher if you want further options.

Set up and use dictation (Mac and Windows instructions)

A dictation function comes preinstalled on most computers. Not only do these programs allow students to dictate their typing, but they can also learn to control their computer with words. Is it completely necessary? Not usually. Is it completely awesome? You decide.

Foxit Reader (Mac and Windows instructions)

Foxit is a simple but effective PDF reader that allows students to type directly onto a PDF. This is a simple way to complete worksheets on the computer. Students can also draw and highlight in available PDFs, then download the file with all annotations attached.

Kami (Chrome extension instructions, free, individual plan $50/year or $10/month)

Kami is a more powerful version of Foxit. It has the basics: typing, drawing and highlighting. But with their paid tier, Kami also allows students to record their voice and video too. Kami also syncs with Google Drive for easy sharing with teachers, or they can download the document with annotations at any time.

SnapType (instructions)

For students who have trouble writing, a class worksheet can be trouble. SnapType lets students take a picture of a worksheet and edit it instantly on their phone. This is a great emergency tool in case the teacher doesn't have a PDF copy handy for students who need typing support more urgently.

Read&Write (Chrome extension, $125/year)

One function of Read&Write is a speech to text mode that helps students dictate notes or papers, allowing for a more hands-free experience. When combined with all of its other features, has a mode that fades distractions to the background when reading online. This is in addition to many other reading functions, including text to speech that highlights as it reads, a picture dictionary to look up words, and a speech to text to dictate notes or papers.

Do you have applications or programs that you find helpful, but you don't see them here? Please email techsupport@bishopodowd.org to recommend them! You can help other students out with your experiences.

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