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Tech Tip: Capture ideas with voice typing in Google Docs

Voice typing in Google Docs is a great way for students to collect thoughts, write essays, practice languages and more. See how.

2 min read




Many students have great ideas but capturing those ideas in a written document is a challenge for several reasons. What if your students could just dictate to their laptop and have their words typed for them? Enter Google Docs with voice typing baked right in!

Here’s how to use the feature:

  1. Confirm your microphone works.
  2. Create or open a doc in Google Docs, in Chrome. (Voice typing in Google Docs only works in Chrome browsers.)
  3. Go to Tools, select Voice Typing.
  4. A box will appear with the icon of a microphone. Click the icon to activate the recorder.
  5. When the icon turns red, begin speaking. Click the microphone to turn the recorder off.

Here is a list of commands you can use while voice typing:

  • Select text
  • Format your document
  • Edit your document
  • Add and edit tables
  • Move around your document
  • Resume voice typing
  • Commands to open help
  • Speak (for accessibility)

Insert punctuation by using these words:

  • Period
  • Comma
  • Exclamation point
  • Question mark
  • New line
  • New paragraph

Correcting mistakes is easy. Simply move your cursor to the error and make the change without turning off the microphone. When you’re done, put the cursor back to there you want to continue writing.

The system also supports several languages and dialects. Check out the full list. Imagine how powerful this could be for your English language learners! They can demonstrate their learning using their native tongue and then quickly convert their document into English to proofread and turn in. Simply go back to Tools and select Translate Document. Voila!

What will your students do next with these tools? How will you leverage this to improve student outcomes?

Sean Williams is a question asker, coffee drinker, nice guy. Handy with the Google. Visit him online at his website or connect with him on Twitter.


Tech Tips is a content collaboration between SmartBrief Education and GreyED Solutions. Have a tech tip to share? Contact us at [email protected]


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