Need to spell check a word? Say it to your phone!

siri screengrabOne of the easiest ways of checking for the spelling of a single word when on the move and not requiring a whole document to be spell checked is to say the word into a smart phone or tablet. As long as you have one of the fairly recent versions of Android, iOS iPhone or iPad or Windows, they all have built in speech recognition.  I am showing an example of how it works on an iPhone with Siri and this iOS5 hot tip has been on the web since 2012. There is an Android tutorial on using Speech to Text and one for Windows Surface speech recognition

I said to Siri – “spell /filosofical/” (spelt as said) – It not only repeated the word back to me with text to speech, but also gave me the correct spelling and dictionary definition.  If I just said the word it gave me the text to speech version back and a collection of links such as the word in Wikipedia.

This comes thanks to Annie – dyslexic researcher, University of Southampton.

Google Drive for online storage and collaboration

google drive

Google Drive is an online tool which uses your Google account to store files online and can also be used to share files with other people and work on projects together. Being able to join in with a few others to work on a project and be able to take a break and have work still done is really useful.

Google Drive is able to create files, even from your desktop, and pick the permissions of who is allowed to edit it. More than one person can work on the file at the same time and the service has a chat panel for the people working in it, so that they can communicate. Everyone working on the file is given a colour and it shows who is typing when multiple people are working. Google Drive can also use documents from other applications to help create a project such as Google docs and Google sheets.

Google Drive is compatible Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8
Mac, mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7)
Linux can access Google Drive through the website but the software is not available on the system
android 4.0+ and iOS 7.0+ are able to use Google drive, android 2.3-3.2 and iOS 6.0+ Can only view the files
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer run Google Drive but require Java script

Tom, Mathematics

Evernote for Research

EvernoteEvernote is the “most useful app. Good layout and easy to organise my notes and research. Able to synchronise with laptop. I can use a notebook for each of my modules. I find the ability to synchronise whatever I input on iPad with laptop. Excellent for storing notes which were made earlier, easy to find, no more searching through pages in books. Far superior to Notebook+ and Notebook. This app really met my needs.”

EM University of Birmingham iPad project

 

Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, Android and Blackberry.

YouTube video –How to clip web pages to Evernote from your iPad

SwiftKey Android mobile app for speedy keyboarding.

SwiftKey mobile app for Android is super great with writing prediction. It can even create meanings from very incorrectly spelt words.  Great for speed writing an also for dyslexic users!”  Andrew (computer science)

SwiftKey have produced a YouTube video of their version 4 of the app where you can also write phrases with word prediction.

Using Google Drive and Group wikis for collaboration.

“Another learning issue I have solved is related to collaborative learning.  This is solved by using Google Drive to share information and to collaborate as well as Group wikis on Moodle.” Andreas

Google Drive has Google Docs and many other file formats and apps that can be viewed from the browser or installed on a PC. Google has provided a YouTube video as an overview of the latest version of Google Drive.

A wiki is a good way to work on a project where there are many different areas to be discussed as these can be separated out, but appear all on one website with one web address.  Tabs can be used for the different areas as well as menu pages.  You can set up your own wiki even if you cannot access Moodle or do not have your own web pages – try PBworks as it is free and very easy to use.  You can decide who can edit the pages and you do not need to know any HTML.  There are more instructions on how to set up a wiki on the wikihow.com pages. Below you will see an image of some pages I have set up on PBworks.

pbworks sample page

Online project management to manage deadlines

“I use online project management systems for managing deadlines for course work, assignments and deadlines for club and society activities.  I like to use ones that can be colour coded depending on the urgency and also where I can add alarms!”

Gantter project management

Gantter is a free Gantt chart project management system that offers some colour coding and easy ways to add tasks and resources.  It offers links to online calendars and iCalendar and Google which can send reminders, as well as exporting to Microsoft Project and to Google Drive for sharing with others.  Google have provided a YouTube video with an overview of Gantter