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Episode 6. Tom Ups our Podcast Game

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 6: Tom Ups Our Podcast Game

(recorded September 23, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny have a new mic setup, thanks to Producer Tom. We talk about Google Voice typing, our upcoming trainings we're working on for Program Conference, and we also do an App Roundup.

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Check out the completely redesigned digital accessibility website, Accessible U!

When I first clicked on this new site in my email, I have to admit I was expecting pages of policies and cautions and lots of scolding. SNORE!

But trust me on this, you will love this resource! It is a concise treasure trove of practical resources. It was developed for and by members of the University of Minnesota community (including our very own Alison Holland!).

Why Accessibility?

As the designers, creators, and implementers of technology, we can positively or negatively impact the ability of individuals to access and use what we create. Why put up unnecessary barriers, when they are easy to remove? Also, increased accessibility helps everyone use our digital materials better! Who hasn't used closed captioning? Or struggled to see low-contrast text?

Core Skills

The site is based around SIX CORE SKILLS of accessibility. These rules come in handy for Google docs, web pages, presentations, Moodle courses, videos, all kinds of things Extension does every day. And in fact, there are pages on the site for each of those things! But first, the six skills.

The six core skills of accessibility:

  1. Headings and document structure
  2. Hyperlinks
  3. Bullets and numbered lists
  4. Video captions
  5. Color and contrast
  6. Alternative text for images

These skills will improve your communications for everyone who reads them. Check out the site and let us know what you found interesting by leaving a comment! I personally have gotten a bit lazy with accessibility and found the Advocacy page to be just the re-motivation I needed!

Last February, Google introduced voice recognition into Google Docs. You can dictate your documents without having to install any additional software or plug-ins, and it’s actually pretty good! I don’t normally use dictation software myself so I can’t compare Google Voice typing with Dragon or other dictation software, but I can focus on how to use Google Voice typing and share some useful tips.

Note: Google Voice Typing only works in Chrome browsers and on mobile devices

Getting Started

Your microphone needs to be on and working. I used the onboard microphone on my laptop but if you work in a noisy office or open area, your best option is to use a headset mic.
  1. Open a Google document 
  2. Click Tools and select Voice Typing
  3. Click the microphone when you are ready to dictate. If you are prompted to give Google permission to use your microphone, click Allow.
  4.  The microphone will change to red with a circle around it. Speak clearly at a normal pace and volume.  
  5. Click the microphone again when you are done.

How to handle mistakes

If you make a mistake while you are dictating, no worries. Just move your cursor to the mistake and fix it without turning off the microphone. After you fix your mistake, move your cursor back to where you want to continue.

Adding Punctuation

You can use the following phrases to add punctuation:
  • Period
  • Comma
  • Exclamation point
  • Question mark
  • New line
  • New paragraph

Getting Fancy with Formatting

You can use commands to edit and format your document. Using words like “Select last word”, “Bold” or “Insert table [5] rows by [3] columns”.

There are multiple commands for selecting text, formatting, editing, tables, and moving around the document. Here are a few of the common ones:

Selecting Text:
  • Select [word or phrase]
  • Select all
  • Select paragraph
  • Select word
  • Select next word
  • Select next [#] words
  • Deselect
  • Align center/left/right
  • Apply heading [1–6]
  • Apply normal text
  • Apply subtitle
  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Font size [6-400]
  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent
  • Line spacing double
  • Create bulleted list
  • Create numbered list
  • Insert bullet
  • Insert number
  • Clear formatting
  • Copy
  • Cut
  • Paste
  • Copy link
  • Delete
  • Insert table
  • Insert row
  • Insert column
To open a list of voice commands in your document, say:
  • Voice typing help
  • Voice commands list
  • See all voice commands

Google Voice Typing Example

I would love to hear what you think about Google Docs voice typing. If you already use Dragon or other dictation software, I'd like to know how Google voice typing compares! Post your comments or questions on the blog.