Below is a mostly unedited review of Live Steno 4 U by Joshua Edwards. I will say that I’m glad to have this firsthand review on Stenonymous and would love to see more people write in about things they use or experience.
Joshua has posting privileges here at Stenonymous and we welcome people to engage, but for now, I’m simply posting it on his behalf:
“Hello fellow reporters, I am pleased to recommend this live steno dictation website: livesteno4u.com. The owners host a three-hour session live every Tuesday evening. (They’re in California and it starts at 6pm their time/9pm ET, so I stayed on for the first two hours.) I figured let me sign up and give it a try. I was impressed with the whole experience, beginning with the message on their website which says, “Two ingredients are vital to success: long hours of consistent, quality practice, and the guidance and support to keep you moving toward the finish line.” That is so simple and cannot be overstated.
The session takes place on Zoom which is easy to use. The material was well-prepared, structured, and sounded just like something you might hear in a deposition. They started with lower-speed 2-voice dictation (170s), then pushed the speed up (200s), then brought it back down again. The second hour, they read 4-voice courtroom dictation, going up to 225. Even though I’m certified at 260, taking down a 225 still isn’t easy. That reminded me that I have to focus intently and listen to each and every word and be able to write them automatically.
They had four live people on video playing the usual roles. Everyone was easy to hear and understand. I am impressed that they manage to bring four people together for three hours on a weekly basis, and also have fresh material timed and distributed. And yes, they do readbacks, simulating the real world where you could be asked at any moment to repeat what was just said. There are other features to the service, but these are just some highlights.
The pricing is extremely reasonable, but the value is tremendous. I would recommend this for high-speed (at least 180-200) students who want extra practice, and also working reporters who want to brush up on their skills. You can buy a single session or a package. If it has been a long time since you’ve done an old-school dictation, you will be surprised how good it feels to put yourself back in that mindset.
Again, here is the website: livesteno4u.com.
— Joshua B. Edwards, RDR, CRR
Court Reporting Instructor/CART Provider
USCRA associate member
“Committed to providing excellent realtime translation of the spoken word””