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.

{ 36 comments… add one }

  • Victor Lajeunesse November 8, 2010, 4:47 PM

    Hello,

    I would just like to add that DNS Premium v11 Student / Teacher can indeed be purchased in Canada. I work for Micromputer Science Centre, a vendor of assistive technology, and we sell this product for #110.00 $Cdn (+ tax).

    If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to contact me via email at [email protected].

    Likewise if you have any questions regarding other assistive technology I would be happy to offer my input!

    Thank you!
    Victor.

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology March 3, 2011, 9:03 PM

      Hi Victor – we didn’t have a problem buying the student / teacher version in Canada. (Nuance ships to Canada.) In the end, we canceled our order with Nuance because we found a great deal on the premium wireless version. Do you offer a return policy on unopened software similar to the big box stores (i.e. Futureshop / Best Buy)

      Reply
  • Victor Lajeunesse November 8, 2010, 4:50 PM

    Sorry, the company name is Microcomputer Science Centre (not Micromputer ;-)

    Thanks,
    Victor

    Reply
  • Ricardo Feldan December 17, 2010, 5:04 PM

    FYI…If you are considering the Dragon Home Edition because of its price ($75 Xmas Special on Nuance website), be advised that it cannot be upgraded in the future. You would have to purchase a new copy. This was advice I received from a sales rep at Nuance.

    Reply
  • Belgin October 21, 2011, 10:02 PM

    hey everyone, general question…I’m a university student do you think this product be useful for lectures?

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology October 23, 2011, 8:18 PM

      If you mean, do I think Dragon NaturallySpeaking would be good to transcribe what the professor says during a lecture, then absolutely not.

      You can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to talk to a computer and to have the computer “write” down what you say, but it requires training on your part. (You need to correct mistakes so that the software can learn what you sound like and how you speak.) Although it’s pretty accurate out-of-the-box, Dragon NaturallySpeaking works best in a quiet room (or with a very good audio recording). I doubt you’d get that in a university lecture.

      If I was a university student again, I’d use my iPad and something like the audionote app which lets you take notes (as well as record your professor at the same time.) That way, when you’re looking at your notes, if you click on a specific word, the app will play back that specific part of the lecture. The app can’t transcribe what the professor is saying, but it’s a pretty handy tool to find certain sections from a recording (instead of fast-forwarding and trying to find it yourself.) http://blog.classroomteacher.ca/1205/notes-ipad-observations-students-classroom/#audionote

      Good luck finding something.

      Reply
  • Robert Mason November 27, 2011, 5:43 PM

    Is holiday version 10.5 able to access Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird E-Mail out of the Box?
    What is your policy regarding returns, is open box allowed?

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology November 28, 2011, 11:56 PM

      Hi Robert,

      I’m not sure what you mean by holiday version 10.5. Here is some support information about which applications are compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.

      Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 only has basic text control when using Mozilla Firefox 8. Internet Explorer 9 has full text control in some places (like the URL address bar), but when you’re typing on some webpages – like this reply to comment field on this WordPress blog – you only get basic text control. (Basic Text Control basically means you need to use the little dictation box in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 to dictate words and commands using a tiny little pop-up window. When you finish, yet to say or click “transfer” for Dragon to process your command.

      You have to contact Nuance directly about their return policy. Good luck.

      Reply
  • Dennis D. December 21, 2011, 10:16 AM

    I am terrible at typing and am about ready to begin
    putting together a book.What speech program will
    work best for putting the words to paper as a rough draft before editing?I don’t want to purchase the wrong program and I see alot on Ebay for very
    reasonable prices???Thanks for any help…

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology December 22, 2011, 8:17 PM

      Hey Dennis, I can’t really speak about other speech recognition solutions. After using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 for a year (and dictating 34,000 words), overall it had a word recognition accuracy of 97%. In other words, you need to correct 3 word mistakes for every 100 words that you dictate. Having said that, even as a brand new user (i.e. using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 straight out of the box) – it also got a word recognition accuracy around 97%. Now, this doesn’t include capitalization or punctuation errors, but if you learn to speak your punctation (i.e. saying ‘period’, ‘new paragraph’, etc) you can reduce the number of punctuation / capitalization errors.

      Good luck with your buying decision.

      Reply
  • GK December 30, 2011, 10:44 PM

    OK, I’m confused on the “13 and older” vs “K-12″ matter. I’m friends with a family who have a 10-year-old son. Everyone at his school — the teachers, the learning specialists, the principal — says he really needs to be able to use Dragon. He has documented disability.

    Does anyone have any experience with trying to get Nuance to allow under-13 students (in a K-12 school) to use the Student edition?

    Or could the school purchase it for him?

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology December 31, 2011, 5:26 PM

      Hi GK,

      Just get your son’s teacher to write a letter on school letterhead stating that your child attends a public (or private) elementary school.

      I agree – the Terms and Conditions are confusing because of the “13 and older” part. A lot of educational websites require users to be 13 years or older because of privacy legislation. Sometimes you can still sign up for accounts with parental consent. (For example, Prezi allows students under 13 to sign up with parental consent.)

      Looking at the Dragon Naturally Speaking website, it looks like any student enrolled in a qualifying (i.e. public or private) K-12 school can get the student version.

      Looking near the bottom of the Education Validation Terms and Conditions page, it seems like students under 18 years old simply have to get a teacher to write a note on school letterhead stating that your child is a student at the qualifying school (i.e. a public or private primary, secondary school) – 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 Naturally Speaking so if you’re a little bit nervous about the 13 years old part, click on that “chat now” pop up window when you’re on the Nuance website, or you can contact Nuance directly from this page.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • sherrill January 2, 2012, 12:33 AM

    Does Dragon work for languages other than English? I need to use it for Spanish–will it work???

    Reply
  • Justin January 3, 2012, 9:39 AM

    If I am 18, but am enrolled in 12th grade do I need the letter from my teacher?

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology January 3, 2012, 4:56 PM

      Hi Justin, Nuance’s Education Validation webpage, students only have to send in a letter from the school if they are under 18 years old. You’ll still need to prove you’re a student by either using a school email account or a student photo ID card with name, date / registration. If you’re still unsure, you could also contact Nuance customer service.

      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 letter from school addressed to pupil at home address.
      ** Students under 18 are required to complete No 3 as form of validation.

      Reply
  • Matt January 12, 2012, 8:20 PM

    Hi. You mentioned that you use DNS to grade student papers. Can you tell more about how you do that? This is the main reason I purchased the program, but I cannot figure out a way to efficiently edit essays

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • classroomtechnology January 12, 2012, 9:54 PM

      Hi Matt, here’s what I do when I’m marking student papers using Dragon Naturally Speaking. (I actually do a mix of different things, but whether it’s more efficient for you to use Dragon Naturally Speaking than typing or writing out your comments really depends on how quickly you type. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with typing my written feedback using Word and Breevy instead of speaking using Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I type around 93 words per minute.)

      Sometimes if I have an electronic copy of their essay, then I leave my comments directly into the document at the bottom. Sometimes I simply create a Word document with a class list and simply add my comments in there. (Then when I print off the comments, I set it so each student’s comments are on a separate page. I suppose you could also cut the comments into strips. Sometimes I create a generic template form in Word with their names / class / date and then run the mail merge wizard to create a Word document that has each student on a separate page with their name and the rubric. That way, I’m simply dictating in my feedback, instead of worrying about the layout. )

      I find Dragon Naturally Speaking really only worth it for me when I’m providing longer feedback (i.e. a paragraph about what they did well, a paragraph about mistakes they made, and a paragraph about how they should improve) – If I’m marking up their essay with corrections or simply writing a one sentence, “nice job, but don’t forget to proofread your work” kind of comment, then it’s obviously easier to use an actual pen (although lately, I’ve been playing with digital ink using note taking apps on my iPad.)

      I never dictate directly into Microsoft Word (or Internet Explorer) if I can avoid it. I find that Dragon Naturally Speaking is most accurate when I use either the dictation box or DragonPad. If I’m using dictation box, I always copy the text in the dictation box before clicking transfer because if you’ve accidentally clicked elsewhere (i.e. the URL bar of a web browser,) then I find sometimes Dragon doesn’t insert my dictation where I expect it to and since the dictation box has automatically closed, I’ve lost my work. If that happens, I can just paste in what I just wrote. If I’m using DragonPad, then I make sure that I save (Ctrl+S) relatively frequently. DragonPad doesn’t auto save like Word or Google Docs, so I’ve lost work before.

      Depending on how powerful your computer is, you might want to turn off a lot of programs running in the background (i.e. Dropbox.) Not so much a problem on my current computer, but definitely a problem on the old computer. Dragon Naturally Speaking seems to work better on more powerful computers. I remember using it on a netbook and being frustrated with how long it took for the spinning symbol to figure out what I was saying. Plus, a stronger computer definetely means a more accurate Dragon Naturally Speaking.

      Make sure you’re in a completely quiet room. Also make sure to “check microphone” any time you start. (It seems to improve accuracy.)

      Add all of your student names (school name, etc) into the Vocabulary editor (and train Dragon on the pronunciation of the names as well.) Click on Vocabulary > Import List of Words or Phrases. (Sometimes if I have students with the same name, I will train it with the last name as well. For example, “Chris T.” and “Chris B.”)

      I use Dragon Naturally Speaking with a mix of voice and keyboard / mouse controls. (The only commands I use are things like “bold that”, “cap that”, “correct that.” I never select things with my voice.) So, for example, I’ll dictate something, and then if Dragon Naturally Speaking has made a mistake, I’ll highlight the word with the mouse and then say “correct that.” – I’ve also set up Tools > options > correction > automatic playback on correction so that I can hear what I said (without having to click play that back.) – Sometimes Dragon will play back what I said, and sometimes, it can’t.

      Under Tools > Autoformatting options, I’ve turned on “automatically add commas and periods.” – It’s usually pretty accurate.

      When I’m in the correction box / spelling window, and I’m trying to correct a word, I usually turn the microphone off (by hitting the + plus key on the number pad.) I find it seems to speed up Dragon Naturally Speaking a lot. For whatever reason, if I try to say my correction in that window, it spends a lot of time trying to figure out what I say. It’s usually easier for me to just type in my correction.

      When I’m in that correction box, there’s usually a button to train the word. I’ve tried to train words that way, but it never seems to work. Dragon Naturally Speaking works better for me when I click on the Dragon bar at the top > Vocabulary > Add New Word or Phrase.

      I run Launch Accuracy Tuning after ever post (on this blog) and once I’ve finished marking an entire assignment to try to get Dragon Naturally Speaking to work better for me. After using it for a year – I got around 97% word recognition accuracy when I got it out of the box, and a year later, I’m still around the same recognition rate. Makes me wonder if it’s really worth my time training Dragon Naturally Speaking.

      If I’m putting in the same comment over and over again, I will add it as a command. Click on Tools > Add New Command. So for example, I might have MyCommand Name as my initials or a unique phrase and then in the content, I paste in my generic comment. Something like this: (Make sure you train the MyCommand Name or it doesn’t work as well.)

      MyCommand Name: KK homonym
      Content: Next time, I’d like you to watch out for homonym spelling errors. Homonyms are words that sound similar but mean different things. For example, wear / where / we’re / were or too / two / to or your / you’re.

      Then when I’m giving feedback to my student, I would simply say “KK homonym” and my comment would appear. Then I hit the +plus key and go and modify anything that I need to. (i.e. change the generic example of homonyms to the mistakes that the student made.)

      I usually turn off the microphone with a keyboard shortcut (+ plus key on the numberpad) – so that Dragon Naturally Speaking doesn’t accidentally insert things. (I’ve given back student feedback and there have been wierd things in my comments.)

      Make sure you speaking in longer natural phrases. I usually speak my punctuation. For example:

      Wow period I’m really impressed with how much you’ve improved since your last assignment period In particular comma I really like how you focused on using paragraphing to separate your ideas and organize your thoughts period new paragraph Next time comma I’d like you to work on focusing on your word choice and your figurative language to really engage the reader period Think about using personification as a tool period For example comma the sky cried at night period

      This is what Dragon Naturally Speaking wrote down:

      Well. I’m really impressed with how much you’ve improved since her last assignment. In particular, I really like how you focus on using paragraphing to separate your ideas and organize your thoughts.

      Next time, I’d like you to work on focusing on your word choice and your figurative language to really engage the reader. Think about using personification as a tool. For example, the sky cried at night.

      There were 3 mistakes out of 68 words in there for an accuracy rate of 95.6%. I tend to get better accuracy on longer passages.

      I keep a list of my custom command commands written on a sheet in front of me.

      Hope that helps. Out of curiosity, what have you been doing with Dragon Naturally Speaking and what kind of accuracy have you been getting?

      Reply

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