Monday, March 14, 2011

Almost Naturally Writing Using NaturallySpeaking...

So last September I tripped and fell and sprained both of my wrists. I had a lot going on so it as I found it very difficult to type I decided to look for a new option and I bought a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 voice recognition software and installed it on my work computer. I wasn't really sure how was going to work out, but I have to say that it was just great -- it was relatively easy to train it to understand the words that I was using and the commands made sense after a while. I confess (um, Drago caught this as "can fast") that I don't use any of the really detailed commands yet, but I actually figured out pretty easily how to make it work for most of the sort of things that I can do. It's nice that in addition to using it to write down text as I speak it, I can also make it work with programs such as my Microsoft Outlook e-mail or Internet browsers, and even manipulate documents in Microsoft Word. Today I finally installed it at home (my version of Dragon allows me to have a copy at work and a copy at home) and I'm actually using it to type up this post. I did have to do some editing - sometimes I use Dragon's editing ability but honestly most of the time it's actually easier to edit manually. But it still saves time! And wrists! Something that I found very interesting was that it was actually harder to write to compose that I thought it would be. It turns out that I had actually trained myself to do academic writing or work-related writing by actually outlining and writing things down and it was difficult to actually think it and say what I needed to say -- the physical act of writing served as a  graphic organizer as it were and switching to Dragon meant that I had to move toward some sort of a cognitive or aural (do I mean oral?) organizer. anyway I've been very happy with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and I look forward to using it even more in composition as I am slowly over time becoming more comfortable with composing as I write I do have to say the one thing that it is amazing forward is to actually read a paragraph out of a book or magazine article or document to convert it to text for incorporating it in something that you're writing. Hmmm... As I look over what I said and Dragon has written it makes me think about the difference between spoken text in written text because I can see that this is actually expressed in a different way than I probably would've expressed it if I had actually written it rather than spoken it.

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