Active Voice : Speech-To-Text

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
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No-frills dictation requires practice and patience to use.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

If kids speak clearly, this tool will take the anxiety out of typing or spelling and instead put the focus on content so kids can learn about the writing process and not be caught up in getting the words on paper.

Ease of Play

Because the interface is so straightforward, kids will be able to dictate, share, copy, and send text in no time.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Active Voice : Speech-To-Text is no-frills, straightforward dictation software that types as kids talk. For kids who struggle with the process of writing or who get frustrated by trying to spell every word correctly, this assistive technology may help them put their focus back on their message. Users may need to practice with the tool before using it for long writing passages, as the dictation can be somewhat sensitive and frustrating for some. Languages available for dictation include English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, French, Hindi, and many more. No privacy policy was available at the time of review.

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What's it about?

Kids open ACTIVE VOICE : SPEECH-TO-TEXT to a language and settings menu each time they open the app. By clicking on the microphone in the center of the screen, users see a blank text box and a share button. As they talk, the software captures their speech as text and types into the text box. Kids can edit as they go by speaking changes, highlighting text, and deleting or inserting. Text can be sent via other social apps installed on the device (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter), via email or text, or via clipboard copy to move to other text tools or a web browser.

Is it any good?

For use on a social app where perfect grammar and mechanics are not required, this would be a great app, but it doesn't work well in all scenarios. Because Active Voice : Speech-To-Text isn't content-specific, when users are trying to create text for science or social studies, many proper names or vocabulary words are garbled. The software also works best in smaller chunks: Kids should type one paragraph or less before sharing it or copying it into a better browser. Multiple paragraphs get confusing within the app and may frustrate some kids. Overall, it's a solid tool that may help some kids, but it has enough flaws to frustrate others.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different audiences when using Active Voice : Speech-To-Text. For instance, how kids speak or write for their friends should look completely different from a formal essay they're writing for class. Show kids real-world examples: How does a journalist create a feeling of formality that an advertisement for face cream does not? Why is this important?

  • Help kids process their thoughts for longer writing assignments by scripting key points in a list or an outline. By helping kids identify things they should talk about, they may spend less time not knowing what to say. It's also helpful for some kids to take breaks if necessary and come back to writing (or dictating) without losing their spot.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love writing and homework-help apps

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