We have come to the sixth and final post in this series- “Using Google’s Voice Tools” and finally allowing access to my completed free slides for you to use to teach your students how to use them as well. Click here to get the complete set of Slides.  You may want to make your own copy after you read through the slides, then arrange the “Teacher Content Slides” to the back of the slide deck for best display order for your class.

We have discussed ways kids can take advantage of Speech-To-Text, Text-To-Speech and in this post, we will talk about how to use Google’s Voice Search Tool in Chrome and we will even take a quick peek at two of Google’s latest voice-activated TOYS,…..I mean Tools!

Students that typically struggle to type their query into Google’s Omnibox can now click on the microphone icon to have the question typed for them. My students feel so empowered when they learn how to do this! What a wonderful way to keep the exciting momentum of learning something new when researching a topic. In order to use Google Voice Search, click the microphone located in the right corner of the search bar. (Omnibox) If you do not see the microphone icon in your search bar you may need to enable it from your Chrome settings. You may also be asked to allow access to the microphone before it will work. Speak clearly into your device microphone. You will see your query typed in the search box along with possible sites to match your query. See Video below:

How Would You Like to Have an Auditory Conversation with Google?

Since we are talking about using voice tools in GSuite, I wanted to quickly mention two new tools that have recently entered Google’s arena at the time of this post- “Google Assistant” and “Google Home“. Google Assistant can be accessed on Google’s Pixelbook Computers, phones, ios and Andriod through either an app or website and allows you to ask questions either by typing or using the Hot Word- “Okay Google”, tell it to do things like a personal assistant would do for you. At this time, Chromebooks are not allowing this Hot Word function but it is expected in 2018 that Chromebooks will be able to utilize Google Assist by using the “Search + A” keyboard shortcut. According to Chromeunboxed.com in July 2017

As of 2016 “Okay Google” has been buried in Chrome’s operating system as a two-way conversation or dialogue between a Chrome user and Google’s Omnibox. Rumor has it that “Okay Google” cannot be used right now, however, Google Assistant will take its place in the near future, according to the Verge.com.

Google Home generally refers to a piece of hardware that resembles a small speaker that can be used to ask Google Assist questions, enjoy hands-free calling, set a timer, add items to your shopping list, play music, set a schedule including reminders, all controlled by simply using your voice. Depending on when you are reading this post, currently the two main choices are a smaller version called The Mini and the larger sized with better sound quality is referred to as The MaxThis past holiday season found that more families are trying out “Google Home” devices that rely solely on voice-activated actionable commands. See Google’s Support page with the many things Google Home/Assistant may do for you!

 I am super excited about the capabilities afforded to those of us that teach younger students that are commonly inhibited by their lack of mature reading and writing skills.  

Phrases like:

“What will the weather be like today?”

“When was the United States Flag finished?”

Cnet.com has a complete list of “Okay Google” Commands

*You may want to check with your district’s IT department and make sure that the necessary COPPA (Child Online Privacy Protection Act) compliances are in place. There have been a few teachers I know that were denied using Google Mini’s in their classrooms. I know that we have SafeSearch in place as well. Enabling SafeSearch can help Kids search more safely when using Google’s Voice Search and  “Okay Google” options.

Learn how- Lifewire Blog Article

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