There are various options for software that will convert speech to text, the best known being Dragon produced by Nuance, and I am often asked if there are any free alternatives, which up until now I have not been able to suggest.
For the last few weeks I have been using ping.fm as a conduit that allows me to update the social networking sites Twitter, Jaiku and Facebook at the same time, and this has a feature where I can use SpinVox with it, and update these sites by talking to my phone, and what I say gets converted to text.
This made me then think about whether this could be used to allow a learner to speak into their phone and have what they say converted to text for them, and by using SpinVox directly, this is possible – you go onto the site, create an account, and then have various options, including the ‘memo’ feature which will convert what they say onto an email, of the blog feature which will send what they say to a blog.
Now I think that this is rather good and could have various educationaly uses. For a learner that has difficulty with their writing or spelling, and doesn’t have access to some of the more sophistiacted software then this can be used to overcome this problem. Or an ESOL student, could talk to their phone in English, and then see how well it understands what they are saying, to practive their pronunciation.