The value of the wordQ+speakQ system is the integration of assistive writing technology. There are products that have word prediction, text-to-voice, and voice recognition, but this is the first to combine the technologies. It was designed for struggling writers, but the uses for this product reach even further.
According to their documentation, it will work with most computer programs and websites: “Microsoft Word, Notepad, email clients like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail. It also works on the web with virtually any website like Facebook, ePals, Blackboard, Wikipedia, and more!” Since this product is designed with struggling writers in mind, the word prediction can help poor spellers utilize vocabulary they might otherwise avoid. Furthermore, it gives a list of synonyms to increase your vocabulary cognizance.
The text to voice feedback allows the writer to hear errors that might be overlooked during the editing process. For instance “I stood by the car for hour.” Perhaps, I missed my “s” on “hours” as I quickly typed my document, and as I read it in my mind, I often read as I intended it to be. However, when I hear it read aloud, I quickly identify the error. This read aloud function could also help avoid run-on sentences, as the computer voice will not read a pause unless, you, the writer place a comma or period.
Moreover, the program is designed so the user can train the voice recognition to understand your voice. This is great for those of us, GRITS (Girls Raised In The South), with a pronounced accent. The fact that there are no voice commands to remember makes it easier to use, and more functional for a younger student. For instance, when my children were young, I used many of the ideas presented in the Charlotte Mason methods. We did a plethora of reading, and I did almost as much dictation. As a busy mom, I know the value of your young child being able to dictate his or her story directly into the computer, and only wish this was available years ago. Not to mention, the value of watching their words form before their eyes. This program will only increase their appreciation and understanding of the written word.
When purchasing the wordQ+speakQ system, you will need to decide whether you want a single, volume, or unlimited “school-wide” licenses. It works with Window XP/Vista/7. It is best if you have 1 GHz or higher processor speed and 1 GB RAM. Lastly, you will need a noise-cancelling microphone and speakers or headset.