10 Things to Know Before You Buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Student/Teacher Edition

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What’s the Difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home and Premium (and Student) Editions? Click here for more info. 

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 UPDATE

Are you a student or teacher? Are you thinking about getting Dragon NaturallySpeaking? Did you know there’s a student/teacher version which is $100 cheaper than the regular premium edition?

Here are 10 things to know before you buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Student/Teacher:

1. You can save $100 by buying the education edition.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher ($99.99 USD) is $100 cheaper than the regular Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Version ($199.99 USD).

2.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher edition is the same software that you get in the regular Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Version.

That’s because they’re both Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium. Nuance sells four different editions of their voice-recognition software:

There are some significant differences between these four editions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11, but if you’re getting Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium, then the only thing you have to decide is what accessory you want to have bundled with your software:

3. The Student/Teacher edition is not available at Future Shop, Best Buy or Staples.

We couldn’t find the academic version anywhere. It seems that you can only buy it online from Nuance.

4. When you buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 from Nuance online: yes, you’ll have to pay shipping. No, you won’t have to pay sales tax at the time of purchase. Yes, if you live in Canada you will have to pay custom border fees.

When we ordered the Student/Teacher edition from Nuance online, we only had to pay $99.99 USD for the software, around $19 USD for shipping, and then when the package finally arrived in Ontario, Canada, the custom border fees were around equivalent to the sales tax we would’ve had to pay.

5. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher is only available to qualified staff and students.

Here are some of the terms and conditions to get the academic discount from Nuance:

  1. Full time or part time students enrolled 7 accredited higher or further education institutions including public or private university or college (including community, junior, scientific, technical or vocational college) that grant degrees requiring not less than the equivalent of two (2) years of full time study.
  2. Students 13 years and older enrolled in accredited public or private primary, secondary, vocational or correspondence school providing full time instruction.
  3. Full or part time faculty and staff employed by an accredited higher or further education institution, public or private primary secondary vocational or correspondence school providing full time instruction.

We’re not sure why the terms and conditions state that you have to be 13 years and older. If primary school is the same as elementary school, then are students in grade 6 or 7 who are younger than 13 years old eligible to receive the academic discount? Unfortunately, you’ll have to contact Nuance directly to find out, especially since all sales are “final.”

plus 10 Things to Know Before You Buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Student/Teacher Edition
Updated Dec 31, 2011:
A lot of educational websites require users to be 13 years or older to comply with (US) privacy legislation. Sometimes students under 13 years old can still sign up for accounts if they have their parent’s consent. For example, Prezi allows students under 13 to sign up with parental consent.

Looking at the bottom of the Education Validation Terms and Conditions page at the bottom of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking website and it looks like any student enrolled in a qualifying (i.e. public or private) K-12 school can get the student version. Students under 18 years old simply have to get a teacher to write a note on school letterhead stating that the student is eligible for the academic discount. In other words, if your child goes to a qualifying school (i.e. a public or private primary, elementary or secondary K-12 school, you should be able to get the student discount on Dragon NaturallySpeaking – see #3 under “How to validate your education status.”

If you also look on the North America Academic Eligibility definition page, under 1c. Acceptable forms of identification (for Individuals), it says the following:

For K-12 students only: when the above listed forms of identification is not available, an official letter from a teacher at the accredited K12 institution verifying the student’s right to order software at academic prices

All sales are final for the student discounted version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking so if you’re a little bit nervous about the 13 years old part on the terms and conditions page, click on that “chat now” pop up window when you’re on the Nuance website to speak with one of their customer service reps, or you can contact Nuance directly from this page

6. If you buy the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher edition, apparently all sales are final.

On their terms and conditions page for student versions of software, it says: “All sales are final. No returns or changes except in the case of damaged and/or defective CD’s. Damaged and/or defective CD’s may be exchanged only.”

Having said that, we recently ordered the student teacher edition online and then canceled and got a full refund. Perhaps it was because we didn’t accept the shipment from the courier at all? Maybe we just got lucky? If you’re thinking about getting the Student/Teacher edition, make sure you qualify for the academic discount. Also, you might want to shop around at your favorite technology stores to make sure you’re getting the best price possible. You may not be able to get a refund like we did.

7. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher edition does not come with a serial code to activate the software.

You have to validate your education status first before they will e-mail you a serial code to unlock the software. (You can use the software 5 times before you need to activate it.) Verification is done by a third-party company (identit-E).

According to Nuance’s terms and conditions, in order to get the academic discount, you will be required to submit one or more of the following:

  • A valid email address that is associated with your accredited education institution.
  • A valid, current student / teacher photo ID card that includes name and date / registration card.
  • Letter or Correspondence* from academic institution confirming EDU status. Confirmation must be on letterhead paper and signed by a lecturer / teacher if you are a student** or by colleague (including contact details) if you are a lecturer / teacher.* Correspondance can be a letter from the school addressed to the pupil at their home address.
    ** Students under 18 are required to complete No 3 as form of validation.

8. Only K -12 students and teachers, and higher education students and faculty can buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher.

Schools and higher education institutions can still get academic pricing and volume pricing for Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but the rates are different. Click on the price tab on this page.

9. If you think this is more trouble than it’s worth to save a 100 bucks to get the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Student/Teacher edition for $99.99, then you might consider getting the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home edition for $99.99.

What’s the difference between Dragon Naturally Speaking Home and Premium Versions?

When you look at the comparison chart, at first glance, the major difference between the Home edition and the Premium edition is the ability to dictate into a handheld recorder for later transcription.

However, if you view the feature matrix PDF at the bottom of the chart, there are a few other features that students or teachers might be interested in using in the classroom setting:

  • Do you need to use Dragon in spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel?
  • Do you need to use PowerPoint?
  • Do you want to be able to play back your speech in documents to make it easier to correct and edit your work?
  • Would you like to be able to import/export custom word lists and user profiles? (In other words, would you like to be able to import a text document with a list of student names, educational jargon, or specific homework vocabulary that Dragon doesn’t come with.)
  • Would you like to be able to create commands to easily insert frequently used text and graphics? (Instead of copying and pasting, you could just say “insert B+ comment”.)
  • Would you like to go wireless and use a Bluetooth headset?

These features are not available in the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home edition. If these features are important to you, you’ll have to get the premium version or above.

Another important difference between Dragon Home and Premium versions is that you can’t upgrade from Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home to the other version. The customer support person told me that if you wanted to get NaturallySpeaking Premium later on, you would have to restart your voice profile. In other words, all of the hard work you spent training your Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home profile won’t carry over to Dragon Speak Premium.

10. If you’re thinking about one day going wireless with Dragon, then it’s probably cheaper to get your wireless headset bundled with the software now, rather than buying a Bluetooth headset separately later.

The Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Wireless edition costs $299.99. This is $100 more expensive than the regular Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium version which goes for $199.99. If you buy the Plantronics Calisto Bluetooth headset separately, it costs $149.99. In other words, you save $50 if you get the premium wireless version, instead of buying the regular premium version and adding the headset separately.

We did try the Motorola Bluetooth headset for our cell phone with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but we found it didn’t work very well. Whenever we tried to read one of the training texts, it kept on asking us to repeat ourselves because it couldn’t understand what we were saying. Whenever we tried to dictate into a document, it took forever to try to figure out what we were saying, and then it misunderstood anyways.

Nuance does have a hardware compatibility chart on their website, which rates different Bluetooth and USB headsets on how well they work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. When we were researching Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium, we tried to see if we could get one of those headsets in town. Unfortunately, Future Shop, Best Buy, and Staples didn’t carry any of the Nuance-certified Bluetooth headsets listed in their compatibility chart. There were some retailers near Toronto, but if we were going to order headsets online anyway, then it would be just easier to get it from Nuance in their premium wireless version.

To be honest, we were a little bit nervous with shelling out so much money for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Wireless, but it’s kind of cool talking to your computer and not being attached to it. We haven’t had any problems with the Plantronics Calisto headset that came bundled with the software, and were happy to see that it got 4 out of 5 stars in the hardware compatibility chart.

No matter what version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 you decide to get, make sure you shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price. If you do shop online, please make sure you read carefully all the information on their websites because sales come and go and prices change. We would hate for you to have buyers remorse and software can be tricky to return.

This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Wireless 10 Things to Know Before You Buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Student/Teacher Edition.
  • There are 1571 words in this post. Dragon made 33 word errors. So, we had an accuracy of 97.9% in this document.
  • If you include punctuation and capitalization errors, Dragon made an additional 13 punctuation and capitalization errors. So, we had an accuracy of 97.1 % in this document.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Sherry Wehner July 23, 2013, 12:34 PM

    Hi, I notice you talk about using Breevy and Dragon. I am having compatibility issues, when I have Dragon running my Breevy doesn’t work correctly. Do you know of any way to resolve this? thanks!

    • classroomtechnology July 24, 2013, 11:23 PM

      Hi Sherry, I didn’t notice a compatibility problem between using Breevy and Dragon Naturally Speaking on my computer, but I’ve never really mixed the two together until replying to your comment right now.

      This is a Breevy abbreviation that I inserted while dictating this comment: (Wed, Jul 24, 2013 – 11:16 PM) and there didn’t seem to be any problem. I’m using Breevy v3.27, Dragon Naturally Speaking premium v12.50.000.065 with a USB headset in Microsoft Word 2010 on Windows 8.

      What kind of compatibility issues are you having? (The two problems I’m having with Dragon Naturally Speaking, aren’t connected to Breevy. I find Dragon Naturally Speaking constantly crashes Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. I also find I have problems when I use the enhanced Bluetooth headset that came with Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.) I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help.


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