Monday, May 23, 2011

What I don't Recommend for Learning the Steno Machine

Before I purchased the Court Reporting at Home (CRAH) program.  I figured that I would buy some text books and a steno machine and teach myself.  While I don't doubt that I could have succeeded, I now realize that this could have been a long, hard road.

Recommended: A developed program of study.  Either through a vocational school (very expensive) or a home study program (much less expensive).

Not Recommended: Buying the text (theory) books and steno machine yourself and being purely self taught.

Before CRAH:
Steno Theory:
I discovered that there were several Steno machine theories:  Phoenix; Sten Ed; Roberts, Walsh, and Gonzalez; Stenomaster; etc.  Theory is fundamentally how to write on the steno machine but also includes how to write on the steno machine so that court reporting software can translate your typing in realtime into English so that everyone can read it.

I became partial to the Phoenix theory and bought 2 theory used books on eBay for about $20.

Steno Machine:
I also read about Steno Machines, and my conclusion was that I should buy either a Stentura 500, a Stentura 400 SRT, and elan Cybra (Student model by Stenograph), or a Stentura 200 SRT.  All these models can connect to a computer--indicated by the SRT on the Stentura models.  The elan Cybra is a more expensive "paperless" writer (saving you money in paper and ink but costs more and but to be connected to a computer).

I bought a used Stenura 400 SRT on eBay for about $600.

Dictation CDs:
In the Phoenix theory books I noticed dictation exercises which I did not have.  I soon realized that these were important if I wanted to learn the steno machine and increase my speed.  So I bought the exercise CD and some other related material on eBay.  (So at this point I have a little less than $700 invested in my new career).

I then noted that I was starting to put together my own program and realized that an established program would be much better.  After some research, that's when I determined that the best study at home program was Court Reporting at Home (CRAH).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken,

    I came across your blog and found a lot of your postings to be very interesting. I could not find a way to send you a private message so I hope you don't mind me posting in this thread.

    I don't want to take up a lot of space in a comment section of a message but I am leaning VERY MUCH towards going with the CRAH program. Like you, I cannot afford ~$30,000 for a traditional college or university.

    Anyhow, you had mentioned you acquired your CRAH materials through eBay. I hear a lot of praise and kudos with regards to the format, style and layout of this program. As I am still in the "research" phase of how to proceed with learning machine stenography I was wondering if you would be able to maybe scan the first page of a lesson plan so I can kind of get a "feel" for how this program is presented? This would be of great help since I do tend to learn better with a structured-type setting.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my message. I look forward to hearing from you if you have the time to write