Greenfield EmergingVoices


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2001 A Space Odessey graphics andamp; sounds courtesy of

Emerging Voices: Speech Technology in Schools: 

Michael Greenfield Director of Technology Chappaqua Central School District Emerging Voices: Speech Technology in Schools


Overview Promise Current Applications Is it a viable solution? Next Generation

What is speech technology?: 

What is speech technology? Speech recognition (SR) Discrete vs. continuous Voice command Speech input Text-to-speech synthesis (TSS)

How does speech recognition work?: 

How does speech recognition work? Diagram Courtesy of

What are the leading SR products?: 

What are the leading SR products? Microsoft Office XP IBM ViaVoice 9 Dragon Naturally Speaking 6

What are the leading TTS products?: 

What are the leading TTS products? Aurora Kurzweil 3000 Write: OutLoud Microsoft/Apple OS

Applying Speech Technology: 

Applying Speech Technology Supports students with learning disabilities Enhances interactivity and communication Develops language fluency

Supports Students with Disabilities: 

Supports Students with Disabilities Graphomotor deficits Hearing-impaired or deaf Limited mobility XP Demo

Enhances Interactivity and Communication: 

Enhances Interactivity and Communication

Develops Language Fluency: 

Develops Language Fluency Support reading fluency development ESL Foreign language learning and translation

What are its pros and cons?: 

What are its pros and cons? Pros Reduces dependence on keyboard Improves language processing Increases independence Facilitates differentiation Cons Significant training requirements Expense and equipment intensive Immature technology Limited utility (still)

Remember to Proofread: 

Remember to Proofread I use NaturallySpeaking, and encountered the following goofs...   'On a clear day, you can see forever' came back: 'On a clear day, you conceive forever.'  'Sociopathic' came back: 'Go see a Catholic.' - Excerpt from Computing Out Loud, Susan Fulton

Is the keyboard obsolete?: 

Is the keyboard obsolete?

Is it a viable technology for schools?: 

Is it a viable technology for schools?


The “Turing Test”: Can Computers Think?: 

The 'Turing Test': Can Computers Think?

History: Driving Forces: 

History: Driving Forces In 1808, Pellegrino Turri built the first typewriter, so that his blind friend could write intelligibly. Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the telephone in 1876, which was one of the devices he developed in support of his work with the deaf. Early speech synthesis work at Bell Labs, such as the 'voice coder', were originally envisioned as machines to help deaf people speak more intelligibly. - Excerpt from Speech Recognition and Accessible Education, Sara Basson, IBM

What’s on the horizon?: 

What’s on the horizon? Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) SAPI 5.x, Microsoft .NET Natural Language Understanding (NLU), IBM Human Language Technologies Department

What promise does it hold for learning?: 

What promise does it hold for learning? Powerful, accessible, interactive andamp; portable learning tools Cost effective Assistive Technology solutions

The Potential: 

The Potential MIT borglab People vs. users Human Computer Interaction (HCI)


Xyberkids Atigo L


Two trends in technology - integration and miniaturization - are resulting in portable, personalizable, versatile equipment. This means that individuals can have more functionality and far better quality of speech in a computer they can transport to different environments. It also means they can use the same computer and system of access for word processing, creating spreadsheets, drawing, controlling their environments, and using the phone. They might also choose to access printed text by placing it in a scanner and letting optical character-recognition software decode and transfer it into a standard computer text file, which can then be read aloud by a computer with a speech synthesizer. And, if or when the needs of these individuals change, they can add other features that will let them control their computers and their environments or communicate using eye gaze, brain waves, or thoughts. - 'A Millenium Vision', Alliance for Technology Access

Closing thoughts : 

Closing thoughts Meeting the Turing Test There is an ongoing need for realistic, thoughtful experimentation using these technologies in schools Deliberate patience – Don’t cut the cord yet…

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