Interview with Rachel Berger: Free Ed Tech Tools from MicroSoft

Interview with Rachel Berger: Free Ed Tech Tools from MicroSoft

Discover how Microsoft’s enhanced dictation tool is helping to eliminate barriers to academic success for students with learning difficulties.

In his first video column, Dr. Michael Hart welcomes Rachel Berger, a Microsoft Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities Community Consultant, to share a brief history about Microsoft’s involvement in developing more assistive edtech tools, provide a demonstration for one of her favorite products, and share her own experiences as a leader in the dyslexic community.

Rachel provides a step-by-step demonstration for Microsoft’s enhanced dictation tool. The free online speech-to-text tool helps to address one of the biggest challenges for students with learning disabilities who continually struggle to communicate their thoughts via writing or printed words. The assistive technology transcribes with speed, accuracy and automated punctuation without having to train the technology to recognize an individual’s voice, a first in dictation tools. 

Rachel demonstrates the power of the tool by sharing her son’s experience with a sixth grade writing assignment, where the hand-written activity limited his ability to properly showcase his thoughts. Using the dictation tool, her son was able to share a higher level of details and better articulate his message to strengthen and improve his storytelling capabilities.

The enhanced dictation tool is available through Microsoft Word, One Note, Powerpoint, and Outlook. Download the tool for free at

Keep an eye out for additional tool reviews with Dr. Hart and Rachel Berger.

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