by Joe Kemery: @Mr_Kemery
One of the hardest things for me to teach and evaluate has been the speaking and listening portion of the progress reports. I mean, by what criteria should I be assessing students? How can I keep them from some sort of formulaic writing style while pushing the content discussed in their presentations? Using Google Doc’s new ‘Voice Typing’ feature, I think I’ve figured out exactly how to get students to not only consider what they’re saying, but also to maintain the personality, style, and fluidity that normal conversation and speaking should have.
Students start by outlining exactly what they’d like to talk about, keeping in mind the order, sequencing and audience they will be addressing. This outline is just used to ensure that they have included a beginning, middle and end to their presentation. Using an add-on, MindMeister, students can then convert their bullet point list into a mind map. Any first revisions can be done here. They will then use only their mind map in order guide their talking point and, using the Voice Type feature, they will have a very casual talk on their topic. The point of using the mind map is to help them avoid simply reading from their notes.
Voice Type does a fairly good job at word recognition. Students are able speak naturally rather than concerning themselves with common spelling and grammar errors. Once done, students are able to review their fluent speech and obvious grammatical errors and other omissions can be corrected. I like to use comments to add those notes to help students improve their own presentations. I will generally have students run through this process at least twice in order to really help students to improve their speeches and presentations while keeping their natural tone and voice.