You are busy! Try this personal assistant.

We all know how busy educators are.  Wouldn't it be nice if you had your own personal assistant on your laptop?  Many people use siri on their phone and this tutorial is similar to Siri.  Since a majority of our teachers have a macbook, you might find this tip worthwhile.  

Instead of typing that next email or document,  how about using dictation?  You will need to be a fairly quiet space to do this.  Dictation does not work well in noisy settings.  Here is a quick tutorial, perhaps you would like to give it a try.

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Setting up Enhanced Dictation

  • Open System Preferences, select Dictation & Speech. Turn on Dictation and set up your options.
  • Check the Use Enhanced Dictation box. This will download a file so you can dictate without an internet connection.
  • Choose the keyboard shortcut you will use to signal that you’re ready to start dictating. The default is pressing the function Fn key twice, which I find convenient and I can remember it. You will find the Fn key on the lower left of the keyboard.
  • Choose your preferred microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon. Normally, you use the internal microphone but it works very well to use earbuds that came with your phone, that little bar on the cord is a mic and does a nice job of filtering out background noise.

Using Dictation

  • Open mail, or a word processor or any place you normally type 
  • Press the keyboard shortcut (Fn Fn twice) for starting dictation.  Or choose Edit > Start Dictation. 
  • When your Mac is listening, it displays a microphone.
  • Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Use dictation commands to add punctuation, formatting, and more.  In other words say comma, person, new paragraph, etc. 
  • To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon, or press Fn.

 Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts to it.  The more you use it, the better it gets! I use dictation to write part of this tutorial and it worked!  SO, it isn't perfect, I do need to change use to used, but I will try enunciating clearly to see if it improves. 

Give Dictation a try!