Dragon by Nuance making study easier

This is a sponsored post for Dragon and Digital Parents Collective.

This giveaway has now closed. Winners will be announced shortly.


School holidays do provide a relaxing break for the kids, but our eldest two boys in secondary school still have some homework to do. The teenagers also both have exams at the end of November and finish school early in December. Term four is a very short term for them, so the school holidays can be a great time for them to work on their study notes as well as the homework assignments they have been given to complete.

This school holidays we had the opportunity to try out Dragon by Nuance. We were sent a copy for our Mac, but you can actually purchase and download Dragon by Nuance (PC and Mac versions) from their website to install immediately.
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00736

It was very easy to install and the tutorial included at setup stage gave us a great understanding of the basics of Dragon. The 15-year-old was very sceptical as to how successful Dragon by Nuance could be, in fact he said “this is never going to work”. His experiences with voice recognition technology to date didn’t instil confidence in him that it could actually help him be more productive with his homework.

To test out Dragon’s effectiveness I got him to work on some current homework projects, the first one being an essay on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. With his profile created and the voice recognition training completed he set about dictating his essay.

Shakespeare was going to be a challenge for Dragon as when quoting from Romeo and Juliet it would be said in old English. But this gave the teenager a chance to test out the edit functions in Dragon. Via voice command you can direct Dragon to go to specific words and can correct them as needed. For words that the software does not know like “doth” you can select the incorrect spelling  of the word, in this case “DOS” and dictate the correct spelling.
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00750

To increase the functionality of what the teenager could do with Dragon Dictate, we printed out a command quick sheet from the Dragon by Nuance  website. This was super useful as the teenager began to format and edit his essay. Being a technology native he began remembering the commands quite quickly (me not so much and still use the reference sheet!).
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00849

With his essay complete the teenager had very much changed his view on voice recognition software. He was keen to try Dragon on more of his school holiday homework. Summaries for his English text, Lord of the flies, were written in half the time as he could simply talk into the microphone and dictate his thoughts onto the page.

It didn’t take him long to work out how to do bullet points and quotation marks so the summaries could be well formatted. With his allocated home work finished for the day and completed much earlier than expected, the teenager joined us outside in the beautiful spring sunshine where the kids played soccer and the dog and I watched on.
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00846

Like all homework though, you still need to proofread your work when you use Dragon. You can have Dragon read back to you what you have written, but the teenager preferred to proof read the documents himself. He did have a few errors to correct, things like “a” instead of “the” and he worked out they occurred mainly if he wasn’t speaking clearly.

I am a pretty fast talker and so are most of the kids. The great thing about using Dragon is that it makes you slow down so you pronounce your words correctly. I think this is going to be a great training device for the teenager and myself to slow our speech a little and fully pronounce our words – no cutting of the endings or dropping off sounds!

The teenager thinks that this is going to revolutionise his study note preparation – he will be able to spend less time on making his study notes and more time actually studying them. He also loves being able to use the voice commands to conduct research via Google and of course being able to dictate your updates and messages to facebook is pretty handy too!
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00758

You can set up individual profiles on Dragon and I have created my profile and can see it will definitely increase my productivity. Most of this post was written using Dragon and I then simply proof read it and added links/images etc.
Nuance Dragon Dictate DSC00746

Dragon by Nuance is available online for digital download at $99.95 and it can also be bought at major retailers like Officeworks and Harvey Norman.

Dragon by Nuance giveaway

Dragon by Nuance

Thanks to Nuance I have five copies of Dragon to giveaway to readers of Planning With Kids. The lucky winners can choose the software format of Dragon that they would like to receive (Mac or PC).

To enter simply click here to find out a little bit more about Dragon Dictate. Come back and leave a comment below here (click here if you reading via email) to let me know which feature you think your family will benefit most from and why.

Terms and conditions

  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • The winners will be notified via email. You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • The give away will close Wednesday 15th October 2014.
  • The winners will be chosen by Planning With Kids based on creativity and you can only enter once.

Good luck!