By: Anne Hegerman
I was recently asked to give a demonstration to my son’s fourth grade class during their Fairytale Crimes Trials, which gave me the opportunity to break realtime down to its very basics, which, in a nutshell, was simply placing a screen in front of the kids without going into the hows and techy stuff. Not only was their enthusiasm real, but the official review was that, “It’s real cool!”
Allow me to set the scene for you. It is Fairytale Crimes Trial prep time. These 9-and 10-year-old kids have been working on their cases, putting together their complaints, evidence, and arguments, and working hard to have a winning case. There’s a lot to keep track of, I’m told! Who has what role? Who handles the evidence? What exactly are exhibits? In essence, there’s a lot going on for these “someday professionals.” When it comes time to get down to the nitty-gritty, the pressure is on and they are feeling it. I gave them the rundown on who has what role, et cetera, when the inevitable question arises over the hubbub: “What did you just say?”
I gave out four iPads and an iPhone to pass around the room as the kids were practicing their questions and answers. All it took was a quick glance at the feed being sent directly to the iPads and iPhone and exclamations rang out.
I heard one student say she was “in it to win it” now! Everyone wanted to see their favorite words and phrases appear magically before their eyes.
“Brett has awesome hair!”
I took this opportunity to educate the kids on the importance of talking one at a time and using
their listening skills, which, as a court reporter and a parent, are essential lessons. At the very outset the kids were awed by the stenographic machine I was using to type on, but once the opportunity presented itself to be able use what they typically have as playthings (iPads and iPhone) as a work tool, they were very excited and took to it right away. Any excuse to use a device, right? There was no fear of tapping the buttons and icons to see what every function was. They had it down before I could even attempt to get out an explanation of the different capabilities and functionalities. Clearly technology is second nature to every single one of these kids, and the excitement of seeing their spoken words appear instantly on their device was real and contagious. Soon more words and phrases began to fly out.
And yes, “salami” made it in again, too.
The delight and laughter that ensued was also contagious. Court reporting has evolved to so much more than simply — and I say “simply” tongue-in-cheek because there is not one thing simple about it — typing on our stenographic machines. We not only capture the spoken word, but we can relay it instantly to any device of your choosing as well.
This opportunity to bring realtime to the Fairytales Crimes Trial was a reminder of the true magic that we court reporters weave. The excitement that this demonstration brought to this fourth grade class was amazing to see unfold. Really, truly, it was a powerful reminder of the incredible work that we do in this business of “typing really, really fast,” and yet what we do offers, oh, so much more… but those details will be saved for the fifth grade demonstration next year!
So get in it to win it, don’t be shy, ask for a realtime demonstration and see for yourself how “real cool” it is!