Dragon Dictation

Common Sense Media says

Voice recognition surprisingly good, but not perfect.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Easy to use, although watch for recording errors. Tap "Record" and start talking. When finished, press "Stop." The dictation appears. Choose how you want to send (email, Twitter, Facebook, SMS) or cut and paste your note elsewhere. Saving options are different depending upon what mobile device you're using.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

There is a language filter that replaces certain letters out of some swear words like "f--k" and "s--t," but others are not filtered like "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism

Banner ads for other products appear at the bottom of the note screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

When you first open Dragon Dictation, it asks permission to import names from your address book, but no other personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, or physical addresses are imported.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition dictation app that allows users to record and send notes via email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or cut and paste into other programs. Kids with limited ability to type or with learning disabilities like dyslexia or dysgraphia could benefit from using this app. That said, if kids are going to use Dragon Dictation, they should be old enough to speak clearly and need to make sure they check the notes for dictation accuracy. Some words might be dictated incorrectly if kids mumble, don't speak clearly, or speak with any sort of accent.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • spelling
  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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

Learning Approach

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

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. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • spelling
  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Dragon Dictation wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for direct learning. However, some educators have noted it can be a useful tool for communication, especially for kids with limited fine motor skills or other special needs. And as kids use it as a communication tool, they may pick up lessons and develop communication skills through its use and observing their words in print.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids tap "Record" and start talking. When finished, they press "Stop." The voice dictation in the form of text appears on the screen. There are different commands for various punctuation or other formatting options. Kids choose how and to whom they want to send their note (via email, Twitter, Facebook, SMS) or cut and paste their note elsewhere to edit and save. Saving options are different depending upon which mobile device they're using.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids with limited ability to type or with learning challenges could benefit from using DRAGON DICTATION. Kids who use this free app must be able to speak clearly and they or someone else should checks their notes for dictation accuracy. The voice recognition is surprisingly good, but it isn't perfect. Many younger kids may not speak clearly enough for this app to pick up what they're saying accurately, which could make for nonsensical sentences. Dragon Dictation is a good tool with limitations.

Families can talk about...

  • Read through the tips for improving Dragon Dictations accuracy.

  • The next time your kid is stumped on start to write an essay or book report, suggest they speak it using this tool. 

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:February 15, 2012
Category:Productivity
Size:9.60 MB
Publisher:Nuance Communications
Version:2.0.28
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Dragon Dictation was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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