Since Google Apps for Education are online, they can be and are updated constantly. This is a great help to tech departments across the world as updates happen and you don’t *really* need to re-image machines all the time (I put *really* because that’s a much bigger conservation AND philosophical ideal). When Microsoft Word comes out with an update, you used to have to purchase a CD, now you can download but you get an annoying alert every time. With Google Docs, you get a simple message highlighting the new feature, then a window with “Got It” as an option and then it goes away. Google Docs has new features all the time, and the latest is a way to “voice typing” that just came this week.
February 28th – Google Docs Voice Typing
Much like other Google products (search and their SmartPhone app) Google Docs now allows you to record you speaking into the computer and it will write it down for you. These speech to text programs (like Dragon) have existed for years, but the technology is now becoming cheaper, better and more accessible. As years go by, they have figured out things like punctuation and now formatting to the point where you can have your computer dictate a letter for you while your hands are busy!
To use this great new feature, just open Google Docs and you’ll notice the notification of a new feature (see box below).
Then click on Menu Bar > Tools > Voice Typing and then click on the microphone icon to get started!
In the demo I “voice typed” the line, said “New line” for the return key and was able to say “Select All” to highlight everything and then “Bold” to make it bold. After playing around for a paragraph or two, you’ll realize how easy it is and have another option to use when you’re hands are full!