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Lecturer creates shorthand app for budding journalists

A university lecturer has created an app which helps budding journalists to learn shorthand wherever they go.

Gill Wray, a shorthand tutor at the University of Portsmouth, has developed the app which can be viewed on PCs, tablets and smartphones to help students revise the basics of teeline shorthand.

The application also includes a dictation section where Gill reads sentences at 60, 70 and 80 words per minute.

She developed the app alongside online course developers Emily Bennett and Pete Sparkes, who had the technical skills needed to create it.

Said Gill: “Students are always saying they don’t have enough time to do their revision, but with this app they can revise on the bus, on the train, or in between lectures. They really have no excuse.

“I first came up with the idea two years ago after a conversation with a student. However the technology at the University’s disposal at the time meant that it was not possible to create the app.

“The installation of a new virtual learning environment at the University meant that the creation of the app was now possible.

“Shorthand is an essential skill for journalists to learn. It greatly helps them to secure a job in the future, so anything that aids their learning in this subject can only be a good thing.”

Students using the app take a test that involves seeing a shorthand symbol and choosing the meaning from options at the bottom of the screen.

Each small test takes two minutes to complete, with students being allowed five seconds to guess each symbol, and if they are all correct, they can progress to the next level.

The link for the app will also be sent to prospective students so they can start to learn shorthand before starting at the University  It can be viewed here.


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  • February 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I am delighted that the web app has been so well received. It has taken a fair amount of time to put it together and I do hope that we’ll be able to develop it further in the future.

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