Why Use Google’s Voice Typing Tool?

  • Increased Endurance for Documenting Ideas
  • Find and Correct Writing Mistakes
  • Access Multiple Modalities – Audio & Visual
  • Dictate in over 100 languages that can then be translated in English

I explain Google’s Voice Typing Tool to kids by saying- “Did you know that you can talk to your computer and it will type what you say?” There are typically a few gasps from my audience. Knowing my class, the gasps are out of amazement, excitement and even relief from a few of my students that stress out over having to type out their thoughts or organize research.

I then go on to tell them that we call this valuable feature –  “Speech-To-Text”.

In Google Docs and Google Slides, you can turn your voice into words, or Speech-to-Text by using the “Voice Typing” found in the “Tools” Tab on the top left side of your Doc or Slides on the menu bar. Dictation technology converts spoken words into digital text on a screen. With dictation, kids can write words by speaking them aloud. Kids can use dictation not only to write but also to edit and revise their writing—all by using their voice.

 Typing is more robust in Docs than it is in Slides. In Docs, you can voice type anywhere in the Doc and utilize many verbal commands while you are voice typing. However, in Slides, you can only voice type in the Speaker Notes and you cannot use any voice commands.

Voice Typing in Docs

When you begin, check that your microphone works. Open a document with the Chrome Browser. Click – TOOLS – VOICE TYPING. You may need to allow access to your microphone when using Voice Typing for the first time. A microphone box will appear. When you are ready to speak, click the microphone. Speak clearly and at a normal pace. When you are done, click the microphone again.

There are many commands you may use to help you format your typing in a Google Doc. A few common commands are:

  • Period
  • Comma
  • Exclamation point
  • Question mark
  • New line
  • New paragraph
  • Copy
  • Cut
  • Paste

*For more options and details on Voice Commands, click here- Google Docs Support 

(These verbal commands will not work in Slides.)

Another fantastic option using Voice Typing in Docs is the ability to dictate in over 100 languages! Students may compose their writing by selecting the drop-down option above the microphone icon. From here there is also an option to have that Doc translated into another language. Go back to – Tools – Translate Document.





I will offer a complete set of Google Slides on this topic (They are still in progress) in my final post of this series. My slides – “Using Google Voice Tools”  will break procedures down into bite-sized pieces, offer kid-friendly language and have all the links and images you see throughout this series so that you may easily use my slides to teach your students how to use Voice Tools for themselves.

My next post will walk you through using Google’s Voice Typing Tool in Google Slides.

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2 Thoughts to “Using Google Voice Typing in Docs With Elementary Students”

  1. Jane Andrews

    I’m wondering if this can be used for a college student to capture a lecture. Any idea?

    1. robinlimpert

      If your device microphone can pick it up, it should work but I have never tried it. It would be an awesome utility if it did work well.

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