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Have 10 minutes to spare? If you’re a current Dragon 12 user, we’d LOVE to get your feedback on Dragon to help us learn more about your experience.

Take our quick survey here:

Dragon 12 Survey

We’ll share your responses with our product development team – your voice matters to us, so use it!

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This week we shine the spotlight on Robert, our customer of the week! Robert depends on Dragon NaturallySpeaking to save time and communicate with his associates in different countries.
Schaefer has lived all over the world – jet-setting from Thailand to Bangkok to South America – while conducting an export business. Part of his career responsibilities requires him to communicate with his associates who are based in various countries, but this presented a problem for Robert because he hadn’t quite mastered these foreign languages. His solution was to use a software called PROMT – which performs translations for him – in conjunction with Dragon NaturallySpeaking so he could dictate his thoughts rather than wasting time typing. He explains, “I use Dragon to talk to PROMT. I speak what I want in English into the PROMT window and the translation occurs immediately.” He notes that this has saved him an estimated 25-30% of his time.
Since finding Dragon, Schaefer says he rarely uses a keyboard and that he depends on it daily to navigate his workload. He concludes, “…I fell in love with Dragon immediately.”
Read his full story here. (*note: defaults to open .pdf)

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Here’s a quick Tuesday Tip for folks using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 for the PC:
When you give commands that quote from your text (e.g. “Select <xyz>” to select and format a specific word in your document), Dragon numbers all matching instances, so you can affect multiple instances at once or disambiguate. Dragon 12 now includes an option to turn this feature off if you prefer, so that your command directly applies to the nearest match.
Let us know if you have any suggestions for Dragon tips or questions that you’d like us to address here in the comments. We’ll do our best to feature as many as we can here each week!

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This week we shine the spotlight on Duncan, our customer of the week! As a member of Massachusetts’ Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (HSOY), Duncan Oliver was faced with a challenge when trying to put together a book chronicling the city’s historical events. It was his daughter’s suggestion to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking that ultimately helped him to complete the task in a fraction of the time.

Because old newspaper articles were not archived digitally at the HSOY, compiling stories from years past meant that each one would have to retyped, or scanned through optical character reader (OCR) software – something that resulted in a success rate of only about 70%. With limited resources and unable to hire an expensive transcriptionist, Duncan began using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and found that he was able to work twice as fast as the fastest typist at the HSOY.

Today, several other people at the HSOY besides Duncan have started to regularly use Dragon and the book has been completed. Duncan reflects, “All of this came about because a retired father told his daughter about a proposed project and the impossibility of transcribing these newspaper articles, and then he found Dragon NaturallySpeaking under the Christmas tree.”

Read more of Duncan’s story here. (*note: defaults to open a .pdf)

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We’re excited to announce that Dr. Jerome Schultz, a specialist in the study of children and adolescents with learning disabilities,  will be joining us to host a live Facebook chat on July 11th from 10 to 11 am EST. Read below to learn more about Jerry, the chat, and how to join us!

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background. I started out my professional career as a special education teacher, and by virtue of some wonderful opportunities, mentors and training programs, I evolved into what I am today, a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I consult to schools and parents of children and adolescents who have learning disabilities; ADHD, Asperger syndrome and other conditions that impact learning and behavior. I also work with kids who are gifted and talented, but who also struggle with learning disabilities.  Over the years, I’ve become convinced that the greatest impediment for kids is not that they have these neurologically-based conditions, but rather the way they see themselves as learners. I’m particularly interested in the negative impact of stress on brain function and learning, and why these kids are so susceptible to stress. My book “Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It” (Jossey-Bass) is all about this phenomenon.
  2. What makes you so passionate about the field of Education? As a teacher, a teacher-educator, and consultant, I have had the wonderful opportunity to observe and learn from some exquisitely talented teachers, and it’s miraculous what can happen when teachers “get” kids, and break down the cognitive and emotional barriers to learning that lets students experience the joy of success. Seeing this happen over and over again confirms my beliefs about the power of the human interaction in the classroom. I know that when kids have a better understanding of their own learning vulnerabilities and how to use their strengths to overcome or work around them, they enjoy school, they come to love learning, and they feel competent and confident. I believe that when teachers, parents and kids can be helped to reach this state of mind, all doors open for them. That’s what fuels my passion. When I can help teachers, administrators and parents understanding all this, I feel like Johnny Appleseed, knowing that the seeds I drop along the way will become orchards of learning.
  3. What would you say are some of the hot topics right now with regard to learning disabilities and education? Several issues are reaching the tipping point as we speak. Proposed changes in the DSM-V, the psychiatric manual that provides guidelines for the diagnosis of a variety of conditions, may set back the field of learning disabilities – specifically the understanding of dyslexia – by decades. The debates are raging about that. The big “elephant in the room” for LD is whether or not these kids are getting the specialized and intensive instruction they require (and which scientific studies prove to be effective) in so-called “inclusion programs.”  Another huge concern is how kids with fragile emotions (stress, anxiety, depression) or difficult behaviors (oppositional, defiant, resistant, aggressive) challenge even the most talented teachers.
  4. What kinds of topics can folks expect to be discussed during the live chat? I’ll certainly be talking about some of the brain science that helps us understand the stress response, and I’ll be offering specific suggestions and strategies that will help parents, teachers and kids get out from under the spell of stress and find success. If someone gets me started on the topic of responsible inclusion for kids with LD and ADHD, we’ll have to extend the chat! We’ll have a chance to discuss my DE-STRESS model of intervention, and talk about why kids with poorly understood LD or ADHD have to “Save FASE” (I didn’t misspell that–I’ll explain it during the chat!) I’ll also be interested in hearing from chat participants about how they’ve used technology to give kids with learning challenges the chance to be more in control of their own learning. I’ll talk about my experiences as a writer using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and how I’ve seen this and other creative programs unlock the doors for learning for so many kids.
  5. Who should attend this event? How and when can they tune-in? I hope that general as well as special education teachers will be able to join us, as well as administrators and specialists like occupational and speech therapists. It would be great if schools use this chat as an opportunity for professional development. Teaching assistants will also find the session informative. Of course, parents and others who care about kids will be very interested in this dialogue, and their comments will add an important perspective to the discussion. The chat will be relevant to mental health workers as well, because we’ll be discussing kids’ emotional reactions to learning difficulties.

Joining the chat is easy – Just follow the link below and click “yes” to signify that you will be attending. Then tune-in on Wednesday, July 11th from 10 to 11 am EST. More info can also be found on Dragon’s Facebook page. I look forward to meeting all of you!

RSVP to the event here!

Follow Jerry on Twitter:

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With Social Media Day only two days away, we wanted to bring the third and final post in our social media blog series! In today’s post, we wanted to show you just how connected the world really is. Take a look at some of these eye-opening statistics:

  • Over 1 billion Facebook posts per day
  • More than 175 million tweets per day
  • 2 new members join LinkedIn every second
  • YouTube is responsible for 10% of the internet’s traffic, boasting over 2 billion views per day
  • When Instagram became available on the Android, 1 million versions of the app were downloaded…in 1 day
  • Pinterest reached 10 million US monthly unique visitors faster than any independent site in history
  • Google+ gains 625,000 new users per day

Looking at these numbers, there’s no doubt that the world has gone digital and that social media is here to stay. So tell us, what are you doing to get social?

The Social Media Revolution 2012 by TheTotalprofit

With over 30,000 Facebook fans, 3,600 Twitter followers, and 1,000 LinkedIn members (just to name a few of our social stats) it’s pretty obvious that we love to get social just as much as the next person! And today, we want to invite YOU to get social with us – if you aren’t already 🙂

Join in the conversation, and connect with more great (social) fans – just like you!

 

 

 

 

Dragon Fan-o-meter

Level 1: The newbie. “I follow one of Dragon’s social media channels.”

Level 2: The apprentice. “I follow 2-3 of Dragon’s channels.”

Level 3: The ultimate Dragon fan. “I follow ALL Dragon social. I just can’t get enough!”

What level Dragon fan are you?

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Welcome to part two of our social media blog series in celebration of Mashable’s Social Media Day which is only a few short days away – June 30th!

For today’s post we’re focusing on an audience that you may not associate with Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and that is the 55 and over age group. Recently, we’ve noticed a lot of activity and engagement on our social channels from this age group and, naturally, we did some digging to learn more about the adoption rate of social networks with this generation.

Well, according to research, the population over age 55 is the fastest growing segment using social media In fact, it’s estimated that 65% of the population over 50 in the US is already using social media regularly – that’s over 27 million people!

So what’s the big to-do? It turns out, with the aging population flocking to the digital world, talk about how social media just might offer some pretty great – and unexpected – health benefits. You’ve probably heard the decades old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what about, “One Facebook post a day keeps the doctor away”? We did a little exploring and found a great post on Senior Care Corner that highlights the top health benefits of social media for this age group. Here are a few we found particularly interesting:

1.      Social media can keep families close.

It’s nice when your relatives live just down the street from you, but in today’s world that usually isn’t the case. Social media has become a popular outlet for the elderly to keep in touch with their family, giving them increased feelings of inclusion and connectedness. 64% of all people using social media name staying in touch with family as the reason they flock to the Web.

Think about the last time your dog did something funny, or when your toddler made a funny face while trying broccoli for the first time…where would you be most likely to share the pictures? More times than not, the answer is  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or YouTube. Grandparents love being able to join in and have those memories captured and readily available to them at any time. After all, Grandma would be pretty upset if she missed out on this adorable giggle-monster’s reaction to mommy blowing her nose:

 2.      Social media opens a window of opportunity for exploring new hobbies.

This is one of the more unexpected health benefits of social media, but it has a place all its own. If you didn’t expect Grandpa to be up ‘til the wee hours of the morning playing Farmville, you might want to reconsider! Discovering new interests and hobbies online can be the perfect answer to all of that extra free time the elderly population often finds themselves with. Besides stumbling upon (ignore the pun!) an amazing cooking blog, many have taken hold of the coupon craze sweeping the nation and have become fully immersed. Come on, who doesn’t love a good discount, or get a thrill when they find something for half-off? Case in point: TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Now, we’re not suggesting that couponing is a match for everyone (especially to this degree), but as we all know, being actively involved in a hobby can make us happier and leaves us something to look forward to – an important ingredient to an enriched life.

 3.      Social media decreases feelings of loneliness and instills a sense of community belonging.

When you get older, especially if you become immobile over time, you may start to feel disconnected and, at times, very alone. Perhaps one of the most significant health benefits that accompanies social media use is the feeling of increased belonging in one’s community. As Dragon allows those facing accessibility challenges to communicate in ways they may not have been able to in the past, social media can connect the elderly to friends and family when distance is a factor. Skype, a popular video-chat interface, can be a great option for when Mom and Dad find themselves an ocean-away from their son or daughter during college study abroad, or when you want to invite Grandma and Grandpa to join in on family birthday celebrations.

Now that we know more about this trend, we better go brush up on our Words with Friends skills on Facebook, because it looks like we’ll have some new rivals  hot on our heels in no time!

What do you think about social media offering health benefits? Have you seen these benefits in-action?

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