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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Presumptuous, I know, but I’ve a request: next time you make a podcast, please release it with a transcript.

‘Why would I want to do that?’

Because someone, in fact many people, would appreciate it. For someone profoundly deaf, an audio-only podcast is inaccessible, without a transcript it offers nothing whatsoever. But even for those who can hear the audio, a transcript can be a help if the podcast is in a language with which the listener is not fully familiar or the speaker is aware they have a heavy accent. A transcript can be useful for all as it can be scanned through to see if the content is of interest before listening, to review key points or to extract specific information quickly.

‘But it’s extra work.’

Yes, but not a great deal if you are working from a script and you probably at least have some notes to get you started. And the point is, the podcast will be of more use to more people.

‘I don’t make podcasts.’

No, neither do I, so why not ask those you know who do if they will consider adding transcripts in the future, or at least trialling the idea.

‘And what will you be doing while we are doing this?’

To get you started, if you have a podcast* you have made for use in an educational context of no more than about 3 minutes, send it to me and I will produce a transcript for you**; then you can see if anyone uses it and whether they found it useful. I will also tell you how long it took me to produce (and that’s typing with two fingers.)

‘Anything else?’

Well, a comment below would be appreciated if you have experience of transcripts,  as a producer or user.

* one podcast per person; some editing on your part may be necessary when it comes to names and specialist terms beyond my ken; offer ends April 2011; English is my only language, sorry.

**I’ll be doing this in my own time, in case my line manager reads this.


Update 24/01/2011:

I’ve learnt via Twitter that the QAA will provide a transcript to a podcast upon request. When I asked why they were not made available  on the website without request I was informed ‘Providing resources when requested lets us target funding where needed, rather than routine transcripts that may be unread.’ In a world when resources are a) finite and b) always a bit less than you would like, I can see this argument, but I can also see contrary ones (see original post above.) What do you think?