Administrators and educators are often recording notes describing incidences that occur on or around the school. The process of constantly writing notes can be a tedious but necessary process.
This little administrative hack facilitates a more efficient use of time for any professional. The administrator makes use of Ontario Ministry licensed software (OSAPAC) and a digital audio recorder in order to speed up the note taking process.
What You Will Need:
â€¢ Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 (speech to text software) installed on your computer (this software is licensed in Ontario for all schools)
â€¢ Digital Audio Recorder â€“ (The recorder must record in 16 bit .wav format and download to your computer via USB, for example Olympus VN-960PC or a PDA)
Step 1 â€“ Training Dragon Naturally Speaking
In order to use speech to text software you will need to train Dragon Naturally Speaking to recognize your voice.
1. When you start Dragon Naturally Speaking for the first time in will set you up as a new user. Enter a username and select your dictation source from the dropdown menu.
2. You will be prompted to ensure your microphone and sound quality is correct.
3. You will read aloud several passages that will train the software to your voice. The longer you spend training the software the more accurate your speech to text transcription will be. The program will also scan your documents and email to get a sense of your writing style.
Tip: Start with about 20 minutes of training and then test for accuracy. If there are too many errors train the software again.
Step 2: – Record Your Audio Notes
Use the digital audio recorder to record your notes on a sample incident. Be sure to include time, date and who was involved in the incident, before you begin dictating into the recorder.
You will need to use the Quick Reference Card when referring to punctuation in the format of your audio notes.
Step 3 â€“ Download Your Audio Notes
Your digital audio recorder will create a .wav file based on your audio notes. You want to download the .wav files from your recorder on to your computer. The process usually takes less than a minute.
Each digital audio recorder is different. You must look at the manufacturerâ€™s instructions in order to complete this step.
Step 4 â€“ Transcribing Your Audio Notes
1. Click on the Transcribe button when you are ready to convert your audio notes to text.
2. You will see a pop-up window that will ask you to locate your audio file. Select â€œAudio Fileâ€ and the â€œBrowseâ€ button and locate the .wav file on your computer, and the â€œTranscribeâ€ button.
3. Dragon Naturally Speaking will open the file and start transcribing your audio notes.
4. Once the transcription process is complete you can edit the notes. If you would like to hear what was actually said, you can highlight the words, right click, and choose â€œPlay That Backâ€.
5. You can then do what you need to your typed notes – print and/or save them on your computer.
Tip: If you are doing this for the first time start with a short audio clip. After you understand the process you can transcribe hours of audio notes with much more efficiency then writing them out.
Please share any tips or methods that you use to speed up note-taking of school or class incidents.