Exploring Dragon as a Literacy Support Tool
28 January 2021
Ella, a year six student, at Penrhos College Junior School, trialled Dragon Naturally Speaking V15 Professional for five weeks commencing 19 November 2020. Working together with Indigo Occupational Therapist, Lauren, Ella used the Dragon software to assist with dictation and computer access, using voice to control the computer to reduce tactile sensory behaviours.
Speech Recognition (SR) software can be a versatile tool to assist students demonstrate literacy skills and knowledge as well as developing areas previously not explored. It also fits in with STEM goals.
After Ella could view her thoughts appearing on the page, she was off on a literacy journey. Having a tool to her to share her thoughts, her confidence and desire to engage in literacy activities increased.
Ella’s primary EA, Helen expressed how positive it was for Ella to be able to work on broader literacy goals than individual sentences:
“We’ve had to adjust Ella’s literacy goals three times in one week. Instead of spending 20 min on a sentence we are completing 1.5 pages of text in 20 min and Ella is loving it. She’s even given the “Dragon” a name to assist in training it!”
The head of Junior School at Penrhos College, Jayne Bolton, has been enthusiastic in supporting the student’s opportunities for inclusion in the curriculum:
“It has been great receiving the EA’s feedback on how quickly Ella’s skills have developed using Dragon software, they’ve been truly amazed.”
Six interactive training sessions were run by Indigo therapists for support staff in the junior school, including the IT department, helping them to familiarise themselves with Dragon Naturally Speaking software. The training aimed to increase the understanding of training staff on how the program works so they can effectively problem solve, model and set achievable goals for students.
Indigo runs many different types of training in schools including:
- Literacy and accessibility support in the iPad
- Using communication aids to support learning
Using visual supports apps and communication aids.