Tag Archives: Learning

Don’t type that text – dictate!

Do you know you can dictate your messages on your iPhone or iPad? Yes, you can speak into the device, and it will convert your words to written text.

Wait – if you don’t bother with text messages, hear me out here: this tool is useful in many ways beyond text messages.

For example, I might dictate my text into an email on my iPhone or iPad instead of typing it. Or dictate a text note to myself.  Or dictate some text which I will then cut and paste into another program or app that doesn’t offer the ability to dictate. Think laterally here.

Many current Smartphones and tablets allow this, so check out yours and give it a go. If you’re an Android or Windows phone user, please let us know in the Comments how you set this up on your device.

You might need a bit of practise but you’ll get there pretty fast. There are some tips after the following steps, so read on.

On your iPhone or iPad, open a new text message or email.

1. Tap into the message area.

2. Tap the small microphone button beside the space bar at the bottom of your keypad display.

3. Speak your message into the iPhone or iPad as if you were talking to the base of the phone (not as if you are talking to a person). Hold it like a piece of toast you are about to bite!

4. When you are finished, tap the Done button at the base of the display. The text you dictated will appear in the message area.

5. Correct any errors manually by tapping into the text and making corrections using your fingers.

6. Once you’re satisfied with the message, tap Send.

Some helpful tips

If it doesn’t seem to work:
If your Smartphone – either iPhone or most of the Android alternatives – shows a microphone button but doesn’t seem to convert speech to text in the way I’ve just described, your dictation may need to be switched on.
To do this, go to  Settings > General > Siri, and then switch Siri on. Even if you don’t want to use Siri’s personal assistant features, you will need to switch Siri on for speech recognition to work.
Sadly, iPhone 4 models and older don’t have this feature.

Which functions does it work with?
Anything that gives you a keypad to type with – email, text, notes, and websites (although successfully dictating website addresses  might be a challenge).

Getting the best results:

         1. Speak your punctuation.
For example:

‘Hi bill comma new line looking forward to catching up tonight at 7 full stop new paragraph cheers comma martin’ will look as follows:

Hi Bill,
Looking forward to catching up tonight at 7.

Cheers, Martin

2. Noisy environments usually still work if you position the base of the phone, where the microphone is placed, close to your mouth.

3. Always proof-read the results – it’s pretty good but a few words usually need correction.

4. Do small bites of speech – no longer than 30 seconds. Press ‘Done’ each time you pause. Speak any longer and it gets indigestion.

5. It usually won’t work unless you’ve got internet connection – the words are going to a server for translation. Also, if your connection is very slow it might not work.

Credit goes to this Robyn Pearce for reminding me that this tip is definitely worth sharing! Robyn has lots of time management tips, so check out her writing too.
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Learning and Development

Free Workshops on Positive Men’s Mental Health

‘One For The Blokes’ are practical workshops running in Christchurch and Wellington on the subject of positive men’s mental health.

The aim is to ‘discuss how we get bogged down and what happens in our body and brain when this occurs’.

The next 4 workshops will be held at :

29th October 1-3pm at Worksafe, 351 Lincoln Road.

29th October 5.30 – 7.30pm at Triex, 49 Carlyle St, Sydenham

30th October 8.30am -10.30am at Kiwi Family Trust, 420 St Asaph St.

30th October 12 noon to 2pm, at Kiwi Family Trust, 420 St Asaph St.

If you’re interested please contact Trish Knight on trishk100@gmail.com or 021 130 8087. 

Resize a window to extend across both your monitors

Last week we looked at resizing a window to fit half your computer monitor. This week we’ll go big.
Many of us have two computer monitors on our desk these days. So, what if you’d like to view one programme window across both monitors? For example, you might be viewing a really wide Excel spreadsheet and appreciate making it two screens wide. 
So today we’ll resize a programme window to stretch across both your computer monitors. This is worth mentioning because not everyone realises you can do this, and at the right time it’s a life saver!

1. Drag the programme window onto the left monitor, and carefully position it so that the top left corner of the programme window sits in the top left corner of your left monitor.

2. Position your mouse over the edge of the bottom right corner of the programme window. (Your mouse will become a double ended arrow when it is in the correct position.)

3. Click and drag the edge of the bottom right corner of the programme window to the right, stretching all the way across both monitors, into the bottom right corner of the right monitor.

4. Release the mouse in the bottom right corner of the right monitor.

The programme window now extends across both your monitors!

Reverse the process to return the programme window to its previous size.

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Learning and Development

Highlight from the Hub

Whale journey advances UC relationship with US ambassador

An opportunity for the US Ambassador and his wife to join a recent research trip on humpback whale migration has helped advance UC’s relationship with the US Embassy in New Zealand.

Ambassador Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy joined UC staff and students on the recent research trip on 29 August-4 September,

Dr Travis Horton (UC Geology) organised the trip for nine UC students participating in the Frontiers Abroad Program to conduct research on humpback whale migration as part of a long-standing collaboration with Nan Hauser of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation.

Through his service on the Fulbright Commission Board, Travis invited Ambassador Gilbert and Nancy to join the UC contingent and view the whales up close on the water.

Associate Professor Osteen, Director of the UC Community Engagement Hub, accompanied Dr Horton and the students to meet with Ambassador Gilbert as part of just receiving a $15,000 grant from the US Embassy to take a delegation of UC staff and students to Vanuatu in February 2016 for social enterprise development projects.

Student applications are now being sought for that trip.

Both the Rarotonga and Vanuatu trips are flagship, academically-based experiences that provide students and staff with opportunities to engage with all attributes of  the new UC Graduate Profile.

The US Embassy’s support for these initiatives as well as the 2014 Community Engagement Summit and a community engagement technology grant is greatly appreciated.

Resize a program window to fit half your screen

This is a fantastic Windows 7 feature that quickly resizes a window to fit half your computer screen.
Display two windows side by side in this way to compare their contents or to drag text, objects and files from one window to the other.

1. Click the top bar of a window and attempt to drag it off one side of your screen. Keep dragging until your mouse pointer hits the edge of the screen (drag it as if you’re trying to drag it off the screen).
Then release your mouse.
– The window “snaps” to the side of the screen.

2. Click the top bar of another window and attempt to drag it off the other side of the screen. Again, keep dragging until your mouse pointer hits the edge of the screen.
– The window “snaps” to the side of the screen.

A few helpful tips here:
– Drag a window away from the screen edge to return it to its previous size.
– You can have 4 windows side by side if you have two screens (but you have to use the keyboard shortcut for this setup – see below).
– The keyboard shortcut for this is Windows/Start key + left or right arrow key.

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Learning and Development