Note taking system assists writing

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Note taking system assists writing

Special To / The Advocate

Special To / The Advocate

Special To / The Advocate

By Dan Hardin, Advocate Staff

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Capturing lectures, annotating concepts, reviewing notes and engaging users (C.A.R.E) are the four components that make up the Sonocent Note Taker companion used to help veterans and Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) students take better notes.

A free 30-day trial of the Sonocent audio note taker can be downloaded for either PC or Mac at sonocent.com.

Students who would like to continue their subscription, free of charge after the trial expires, should contact Computer Aided Instruction Lab Coordinator Eric Appel at eappel@contracosta.edu or in the CTC-109, Monday-Thursday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The service is free for veterans and students with a certifiable disability.

Learning Specialist Alissa Scanlin said Sonocent will allow students to record lectures in segments. The software allows for the segments to be highlighted to use in future studying sessions. “It’s easy to go back to key moments in the recording since the audio is visualized, phrase-by-phrase,” Dr. Scanlin said

The main advantage Sonocent gives users is the ability to record audio, organize it in live time and waccess files easily, she said. Students can also add photos, slides and text notes alongside recordings to bolster the effectiveness of study materials.

The program can be used on a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop and the files can be exchanged across different platforms and devices. This function promotes user engagement by making it possible to exchange audio notes to peers or on social media.

DSPS Instructional Assistant Richard Stollings said the beauty of it all is that you can listen to it anytime, anyplace or anywhere.

Stollings said the only challenge that may occur is from instructors who might be uncomfortable with allowing students to use the program by phone or laptop in class.

The software is user-friendly and the controls are simple enough that no technical experience is necessary to navigate the app.

“Hopefully, instructors will take time to appreciate how helpful the program can be for students who really want to learn,” Stollings said.

Sociology and social sciences department Chairperson Vern Cromartie said, “I would not have a problem with a certified DSPS student or veteran recording a lecture using the Sonocent program.

“Normally cellphones are not permitted in my classroom due to their tendency to detract from the lecture.”

Appel said, “Taking accurate notes at a meeting or lecture can be very challenging. Studies show that students who take good notes also make better grades. Because of Sonocent, struggling students go from lower grades, to A’s and B’s.”

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