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Notetalker app and edit in the classroom
United Kingdom
Accessible Product

Category: Assistive Technology,

Nomination Details

Organization name: Conversor Limited

Launched Date: 2015-03-31

Who has created it: jeremy brassington

Problem statement and how the Accessible Innovation solves the problem.

Students with learning difficulties often find it hard to concentrate on a speaker and write notes at the same time. In addition a number of recording solutions do not work well in large rooms because of poor room acoustics.

Notetalker combines hardware and software to provide either a directional microphone or a wireless microphone connected to a smartphone or tablet to make a high quality voice recording which can then be uploaded to a PC using Dropbox or Googledrive. Notetalker App enables the user to make any number of audio bookmark tags for later reference and photographs to provide the user with reference points for later note-making on the PC.

Tell us who is the target audience and how the accessible innovation will benefit them. Please specify the different target audiences groups and provide numbers and statistics of your current clients as well as what is the potential number of people that the innovation can impact and empower:

The initial target audience is for students at university and pupils in post secondary schools. Our solution will increase their productivity and comprehension by allowing them to concentrate on the teacher, or lecturer whilst recording using Notetalker App on a smartphone or tablet and then making notes later on the PC with Notetalker Edit with the benefit of the recorded audio, bookmark tags and images.

The solution can then be used for anyone at work or in meetings or group sessions who find it difficult to listen and make notes at the same time. This can include the deaf and also the blind who need all their senses to concentrate on the speaker. The market is therefore substantial.

Approximately 1 in 10 people suffer from dyslexia, 1 in 7 are hard of hearing and 1 in 20 suffer from some form of visual impairment. This equates to almost 1 billion people could benefit from this technology worldwide. 1 in 10 students in the UK going to University have a specific learning disability.

How is the accessible innovative solution different from current practices or ways of solving the problem?

Current solutions include the use of digital voice recorders and directional microphones, smartpens, human notetakers, individual apps, using coloured paper. There are also note-making PC programs available.

Notetalker combines wired or wireless microphone technology used for assistive listening devices with the power of a smartphone app and a PC program for notetaking. Every student has a smartphone, the population of smartphones is growing exponentially and the power, storage and audio quality is increasing rapidly year on year. Use the power in the smartphone to deliver quality audio recordings for notetaking.

How is the accessible innovative solution new, different or unique in terms of the technology or implementation?

The combination of all three components, microphone with a unique connecting cable for a smartphone, App for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, and a PC program for Windows and mac make it a unique solution. In addition we provide a credit card sized powerbank to recharge the smartphone on the go if the battery starts to run out of power.

How do you get the innovative solution to reach the target audience? Please elaborate on the your go to market strategy and which geographies do you currently work in and what are your future plans for marketing your innovation.

In the UK we sell directly into schools, universities and the disabled student market. We will target resellers to assist in the workplace market and other target groups.

Overseas we have distributors who currently sell our range of assistive listening devices and we will use them as an entry point to find resellers in each of our markets.

What is the potential impact of the innovative solution on the lives of the target audience? Please elaborate by providing statistics of the current impact and the potential impact.

81% of students with a specific learning difficulty in a recent study by EA Draffan and Abi James¹ in the UK in 2014 reported that using a voice recorder as part of a note-taking strategy had a beneficial impact on their studies. In the same report 41% of these students used a PC program to help them write notes, and 53% said they would use an app if it were available. So if this is extrapolated to half the targetted population referred to above, there are still 500 million people who could benefit.

1 Review of technology-based support to reduce the impact of note-taking difficulties on disabled students. Abi James & EA Draffan. June 2014

Stories of how the Innovation has touched lives.

A. Interview with Ashley a student at a British university in December 2015:

  1. Can you tell me your name and age? My name is Ashley and I'm 22 years old
  2. Which University are you studying at and which course are you studying? I'm studying BA Fashion Pattern Cutting at London College of Fashion, which is part of University of the Arts London
  3. What are the challenges you face with learning? (E.g. Dyslexia and please also tell me about specific activities such as taking notes or creating essay plans) I have dyspraxia which means I struggle to keep up with note taking in class and tend to miss a lot of information if I get stuck. I also struggle to put things in a logical order so this makes essay planning difficult and time consuming
  4. What strategies did you use whilst at school to overcome your challenges? At the beginning of a project, I make a detailed time plan so that I keep on top of everything. If I fail to do this, I will lose track of time and struggle to cope get with the workload
  5. When did you go through the DSA process? I went through the DSA process in March 2015
  6. What equipment were you provided with as part of your DSA allowance funding? I was provided with a laptop (and laptop accessories such as a keyboard, mouse and stand), Dragon Dictate software, Notetalker software and the microphone to go along with it. I was also offered a printer but declined as I already have one
  7. What were your initial impressions of the Notetalker app and Notetalker Edit when you first used it? At first the computer program seemed confusing, however after recording on the app it became a lot clearer and it made long lectures much easier
  8. How easy did you find Notetalker and Notetalker Edit to use? I find it very easy to use
  9. How specifically do you use the Notetalker app and Notetalker Edit. If you could take me through step by step how you use it that would be great. I record using the app and microphone and add photos and bookmarks where needed. I then use Notetalker Edit to add comments and organise the information. This makes it much easier to take notes from the recording as I can colour code the relevant sections
  10. How has Notetalker helped you as part of your study strategy to overcome your learning challenges? Notetalker has helped me understand lectures and classes better as I can listen to them again and look at photos alongside them which helps me get a clear idea of the information.
  11. How has your impression of Notetalker and Notetalker Edit changed since you initially starting using it? I was sceptical when I began to use it as I was unsure how clear the recordings would be, however the recordings are very clear.
  12. Do you feel that Notetalker has allowed you to feel more confident in your notetaking approach? Yes definitely, I can still makes notes but it is very reassuring to know that Notetalker is recording when I get confused
  13. What are the 2 best features of Notetalker and Notetalker Edit in your opinion? The ability to add photos and bookmarks are great features as I can find a specific moment easily if I don't want to listen to the entire recording
  14. Would you recommend other students facing similar learning challenges to you? Yes I absolutely would. It has made things much easier for me in class and think it would help people with many different disabilities

B. Quote from a website that is set up for the dyslexic adult and student. "As well as the app and the desktop version, the guys behind Notetalker have a set of really useful accessories that turn your mobile into the ultimate recording device." Sean Douglas, The Codpast. Sean is the dyslexic founder of and regularly reviews and uses technology.

Links to a few videos about the innovation: