Speech recognition software is designed to take the words you say and convert them to text on a page. You can literally speak into a microphone and see your words type their way to life. If you are a slow typist or simply someone looking to speed up your writing abilities, this could be the solution you are looking for. A lot of college students use programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking to help themselves write essays, take notes, and get through their day to day work. Here are some ways that speech recognition software may be able to help you out.
How Speech Recognition Works
Speech recognition software works by picking up on the words or phrases that you say and converting them into recognized words on a page. Some software programs understand more than others, depending on how they work. The ideal programs will transcribe full sentences, rather than individual words. That way you get “The robotic dog stepped in ice cream,” instead of “The robot ick dog stepped in I scream.” No system is perfect, but most of them will customize themselves over time to suit your voice and vocabulary. This will make the program as effective as possible.
How to Use Speech Recognition Effectively
In order to use a program like this correctly, you need to enunciate your words. If you start sounding like Lil’ Wayne when you talk into the mic, it may not pick up on all the words coming out of your mouth. Have you ever had trouble understanding someone in a drive thru window because he was slurring his words together? The same effect will happen with the software if you don’t break down your words.
Learn to speak out the punctuation marks because most programs will not automatically put them in there. “I love music (comma) and I also love football (period)” this takes a bit of time to get used to, but then you will find yourself actually speaking like that to normal people. I did that for a while, and my husband got so annoyed when I slipped up with it. If you can shut that part of your mind down while you’re in the real world, that would be ideal.
Take some time to explore a program like this, even if you just look at a free trial. It can’t hurt to see if it would speed up your time in school. Play around with the software until you get into a rhythm, and I think you’ll be surprised by just how easy it is to use.