Dragon Dictation

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Dragon Dictation App Poster Image
Voice recognition surprisingly good, but not perfect.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

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
Sex
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

What 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.

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love educational apps

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