You shouldn't be too surprised, but Google came out with a cool new tool this month called Google Scribe. However, if you work with students with writing disabilities, you should definitely get excited about this new and free assistive technology that is web based and is universally accessible to all.
Google Scribe is a word prediction application that allows you to 'Type away as usual. When you like Google Scribe's suggestion, use Enter or [a] numeric shortcut to choose the suggestion.' It's just as easy as that.
For students with writing deficits such as fine motor fatigue, memory issues, or difficulties with grammar or syntax, I anticipate Google Scribe to be a seamless writing tool for students to access at any location with Internet access. Unfortunately, lack of Wifi is a challenge I foresee a student may have with this application.
As an inclusion teacher, I like how this application can be seamlessly integrated into my writing instruction. Since it is easily accessed via the Net and I already encourage my students to use Google Docs, a student that would benefit from Google Scribe would be perceived, in class, to be using the same tool as his or her peers. To some students, this is very important. If that is the case, this particular student would be spending less time focusing on how different he or she looks and just focus on the writing task at hand. There is even an option to download this application to the Google Chrome Browser so it could be used when surfing the net too. That is a bonus!
Unfortunately, Google Scribe is not yet integrated into Google documents unless you download the extension to use Google Scribe on all webpages. If you do not have the permission to do this without the help of your I.T. people, students would have to be sure not to close the Google Scribe webpage before they were done with their writing as there is no save option in Google Scribe. Students would have to learn how to copy and paste their final writing piece into a Google Doc or a Microsoft Word document and must learn how to save it there. This is a small price to pay for such a wonderfully designed free tool.
Google Scribe is going to be a blessing for many teachers and students this school year.
Click here for more information on Google Scribe. Happy Writing!
Thanks to my friend David Grapka for passing this on to me. :)