Monday, November 5, 2018

Plover in Peoria!

Check out this great dispatch from Kathryn Dittmeier, the coordinator of the Judicial Reporting Program at Midstate College in Peoria, Illinois:

steno machines and laptops at a table
Thanks to Plover software, a closet full of Stentura 400SRTs, and an investment in tablets from our administration, the Judicial Reporting program at Midstate College was able to bring a hands-on steno exhibit to the Career Spark event at the Peoria Civic Center. Over the course of two days, 4,000 eighth grade students from over 60 area schools poured out of school buses and eagerly explored each of the four large exhibit areas. In the Law, Government, and Public Service zone, students had plenty of interesting things to see with fire trucks, police motorcycles, snowplows, an ambulance, and a utility line setup. But the steno machines really drew the students in with many returning for a second visit before their time in our zone was up. We also looped the Steno Arcade “I’m your Moon” video on a big monitor – a great draw for 14-year-olds!

Because of Plover software, we were able to invest in inexpensive Windows 10 tablets and let the students get their hands on machines to try realtime. There were aha! moments, triumphal shouts of “I got a word!!” and for many, we were able to help them draw a connection between live captions they had seen on sporting games and news in restaurants and the idea of a person on a steno machine generating those. We had a great opportunity to talk to them about careers in official, freelance, CART, and captioning domains, about the huge need for reporters, and about the earning potential one could realize with a two-year degree. Our thanks to Plover for doing just what you set out to do...making steno accessible in an affordable way so people can try it.

I love hearing about high schoolers (and even younger kids) getting to play around with steno machines, and I'm hoping we'll be able to develop even more kid-friendly steno learning video games in the near future. If you use Plover at a career fair or similar event, drop us a line!

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