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How do I find ~ Assistive Technology Resources

Google Docs

Google docs

Google Docs, the popular word processing program developed by Google that is free and can be used on Mac and PC computers, is the most recommended resource for assistive technology needs. It has numerous capabilities making it an ideal tool for collaboration and working on assignments. These same capabilities and features make Google Docs a great tool for notetaking. Furthermore, to enhance its capabilities for notetaking, you could add plugins and add-ons made by other companies. These would be added to Google Docs itself or to Google Chrome. Below you will find a list of recommended Google Docs features as well as add-ons that will make notetaking easier and more effective.

Voice Typing

Please note that voice typing only works with Google Chrome.

Here is a document that explains how to enable the voice typing feature on Google Docs: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/4492226?hl=en

In using this feature, it is important to keep the following information in mind:

  • Voice typing is not 100% accurate. However, it works better than the built-in dictation tools on Macs and PCS. Voice typing is compatible with multiple languages!
  • You should consider the size and space of the classroom or space where you are using this feature. In larger settings with other noise (ambient, other people, etc.), this may cause less accuracy with voice typing.
  • The clarity and projection of the person’s voice whether that be you, a Professor, or a classmate will also impact the accuracy. Due to these limitations and potential concerns, you may find it useful to use other software. 

Lastly, you can use the Google Docs voice typing feature for transcribing. Follow this link for more information: https://work.qz.com/1087765/how-to-transcribe-audio-fast-and-for-free-using-google-docs-voice-typing/

Color Coding

Do you love highlighting when annotating? Do you get tired of looking at a black and white Google Doc after hours of working on it? Then you should definitely use Google Docs.

Color coding helps immensely with organizing your work when writing papers. While the “highlight color” feature works well for notetaking, there is still an add-on that allows you to have an even better notetaking experience.

Using this add-on, you can more explicitly associate colors with different parts of the text (quotes, confusing lines, etc.) and then export these notes into a separate document.

Follow this link for more information: https://www.bettercloud.com/monitor/the-academy/easy-way-color-code-organize-ideas-google-doc/.

Another possibility is to change the background color of your document to make it more visible and readable for you.

Fonts

Using different fonts in your document can help with making your notes more interesting and strengthen your organization. When used with other text editing features in Google Docs, such as bold, italics, and underlining, it can also enhance your notes by adding variety.

Document Outlining

Document outlining can streamline the process of finding information with a table of contents. This feature is great for working on lengthy projects such as a senior thesis or even when collaborating with group members on a course assignment where sections needs to be divided among members.  

Here are some instructions on how to find and enable the "document outline": https://thenextweb.com/google/2015/07/02/new-google-docs-panel-lets-users-access-thousands-of-fonts/

Google Add-Ons

The following are plug-ins and add-ons to use instead of, or in addition to, the features described above. There are many, but these will help specifically with notetaking. Feel free to explore the page and do your own research to determine what great add-ons and plug-ins are out there that may help your academic experience!

While we recommend taking advantage of the features and tools already available in Google Docs, the add-ons can be just as, if not more, helpful. 

  • Mic Note (Chrome extension) First up we have Mic Note, which is an add-on for Google Chrome that serves as another option for audio recording! This add-on does not directly link to Google Docs, but you can sync audio recordings to Google Drive and keep your files in close proximity to your other notes in Google Docs. Follow this link for information about the different features Mic Note offers and how you can take advantage of this tool: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mic-note-voice-recorder-n/nhkoenoennbjnibepkjdheodiaojdgpk?hl=en

In addition, this YouTube video will walk you through how to use Mic Note in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Afp8vlkCYQ

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