Why Transcription Should Be In Every Professor's Toolkit
Every college professor, high school teacher, and tutor knows the importance of note-taking. You teach it to your students, and you make sure to practice what you preach. But what if there was a way to up your game when it came to note-taking?
Transcription in Education
Innovative college students often turn to transcription devices or services to help them keep up with lectures and improve retention. Taking notes during class can help during cram-sessions later on, but in the moment, note-taking actually lowers retention. It's hard to listen and understand what the professor is saying when you're scrambling to write it all down at the same time. And while iPhones and computers have some transcription capabilities, the most complete lecture transcripts come from manual transcription services.
So, if students are making use of transcription services to help them learn more and stay tuned-in during class, why wouldn't professors take a page out of that book?
How Professors Use Transcription
Like students, professors and high school teachers alike use transcription services to stay more engaged during class. When you know that your entire course is being recorded and put to paper, you don't have to worry about creating study sheets and taking notes along the way or leaving information up on the board for longer than you need it as an in-class demonstration.
You're Not in IT
Professors aren't jacks of all trades, and they shouldn't have to be. More and more, educators are expected to utilize every new form of technology in class to ensure optimal learning for their students. But at what point does all that plugging in, turning on, restarting, troubleshooting, and typing get in the way of actual education?
The fact is, most of this technology in class only serves as a distraction. Not only can it waste time in class, detracting from meaningful learning time, but it can also waste the professor or teacher's valuable prep time. When you should be devising unique and intelligent courses and lessons, you can find yourself calling IT or spending hours typing into your word processor.
Of course, every professor should be able to search the Internet for research and learning tools with ease. But that doesn't mean that every teacher, from science to art history to literature, has to be a computer whiz.
Teach How You Love to Teach
Rather than toiling away at a computer, transcription services can help you teach the way you want to teach--naturally and personally. Engage on a human level when you're in class. Then, you can use the transcripts of your lessons to provide study materials, homework, and online resources easily for your students.
Just copy and paste your favorite parts of your lessons from the transcript into a trimmed-down document if you need to make certain lessons available online, or even use them to create quizzes and study materials.
Make Positive Changes
Many teachers and professors find themselves repeating the same classes, word-for-word, lesson-for-lesson, year after year. Not only can this grow dull for you as the professor, as you repeat yourself again and again, but it can also become tedious for your students, as they pick up on your own boredom and disinterest.
But how many teachers and professors have the time to record each part of their lessons, review, make changes and improvements, and reorganize for the next year? Not many.
Get Out of Your Teaching Rut
Most teachers and professors who find themselves in a teaching rut got there because of a lack of time or motivation to make changes. The truth is that it's easier to use the same material once you find something that works fairly well. The solution is to make changing your lesson plans just as easy, and--maybe--even a little bit fun, too.
This year, try transcribing each of your lessons. Then, review. You can start by having just one section transcribed (if you teach science, just transcribe the section on mitosis, etc.). If you don't have time to review the whole thing word-for-word, your transcription service may be able to do that for you and highlight the things you're most interested in. For example, you could request a review for student disengagement, or times where your inflection goes flat. Now, you know just what you need to change for next time.
Put in the Effort
You might be thinking, "This seems like a lot of work." But really, it's work you would be doing anyway, if you're trying to make positive changes in your work. Switching things up, even just a little, each quarter, semester, or year makes you a better teacher and your students more engaged.