Sunday, 7 December 2008

7. Commentary on listening to text and note taking

Over the past few months there have been a number of entries about software that can turn text into speech, allowing the individual to transfer their spoken text to a suitable player and listen to it at a time that is convenient. But the question arises (for all, not just the dyslexic individual) what about issues of short term memory? If you have a text of 30 minutes and are listening to it while you drive, how helpful is it?

The answer is that it depends on the text. It can be useful to listen as a "first pass" - a sort of "Ah ha!" principle. But if you are driving, you cannot make a note to yourself. (I find this frustrating if I am proofreading as I have to try to remember the problem and return to it later.) Of course on the bus of train you can make paper-based notes. And if you are still at the computer, you can use something like the low cost solution Lecture Recorder 4.4 (see 31 August), though there are many other solutions, including those from Microsoft.

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