Getting more done

in less time

The facts

The customer
John Stewart, Head of Preparatory School, Prince Alfred College, Kent Town, South Australia
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Philips partner
Copia, Australia
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Prince Alfred College in Adelaide is one of Australia’s leading boys’ boarding and day schools, with around 1100 students from ELC to Year 12. Prince Alfred College provides a unique learning environment for boys with programs that nurture their individual needs and inspire a natural love of learning, enabling them to flourish both at school and beyond.

John Stewart is the Head of Preparatory School, supervising 500 students in the Early Learning Centre and Preparatory School. Although he has been with Prince Alfred College only since the beginning of 2020, his journey in education commenced close to three decades ago. As the head of the school, it can get very busy for him managing correspondence with parents and colleagues throughout the day. To save himself time during the day, he relies on digital dictation instead of typing. 

SpeechLive, the better way of dictating

At his previous school where John was the Head of Junior School he saw a colleague using a dictaphone. He explained that his colleague used the device to record all his correspondence throughout the day and then give the tapes to his personal assistant for typing. “I asked why he dictated, and he had only positive feedback on the process in addition to how it saved him time, so I decided to get something similar,” John said. He spoke to his IT department to explore options that allowed him to use his Apple devices. “I am an avid user of Apple equipment and I wanted something similar that would work on my phone, rather than use a dictaphone. After a bit of research, we came across the Philips SpeechLive app which only needed to be downloaded from the App store to get started. For my personal assistant, they purchased the foot pedal and headphones to type my dictations. When I arrived at PAC, I was keen to keep using the Philips SpeechLive app. I spoke with the IT department and they sourced the relevant equipment, and we were up and running.”

Philips SpeechLive can be accessed from anywhere using the Chrome or Firefox internet browsers. Transcriptionists or personal assistants simply log in to securely access dictation jobs. Finished documents can be uploaded in the portal to complete the workflow.  

SpeechLive has benefited me in terms of time savings. I’ve been using it for a while now. It fits all my needs in terms of my schedule and my style of work, and I would recommend it to other educators to take advantage of it.

John Stewart
Head of Preparatory School, Prince Alfred College


One app, many uses for dictation

When John first started using SpeechLive his intention was to get through the daily correspondence. As the Head of Preparatory School, he needs to have parents-teacher consultations as well as meetings with his peers which are quite frequent. Instead of taking down notes and typing them up later, he would dictate the meeting minutes or letters on his phone and then send them to his personal assistant for typing. But over the course of time, John has used SpeechLive in other ways. He explains, “I use it for more purposes now that I thought I would. Initially, it was purely for letters and memos to get it out to the families and stakeholders on time. Now I use it for taking notes during meetings by turning the app on or if I notice the boys doing something noteworthy around the school or tasks that needs to be addressed later, I dictate it immediately on the phone and send it off to the assistant to type into a list. If I am looking at items to comment on or give my feedback such as presentations, speeches, articles that I write or end of the year programs – I can just dictate it. When I am done with my work around the school and return to office, the documents are typed up and waiting for me to review. It is a more efficient way for me to maximise my time.” 

Portable productivity

The convenience of SpeechLive is the flexibility of accessing a document creation process from anywhere, making speech-to-text even easier. Unlike traditional dictation devices, authors don’t have the hassle of leaving their devices behind as they have their phones with them all the time. John shares the same sentiment, “I like the portability of carrying my phone. Because it’s always in my pocket, I find it quite handy. I can dictate right after a meeting while the information is fresh on my mind, or pretty much anywhere when I feel the need to take notes. I have done close to 500 dictations in my time using SpeechLive.”

He continues, “Because SpeechLive is digital, it stores all my dictations. I don’t like to delete old dictations as it’s useful to be able to go back and find a dictation I did months ago if needed. I like that feature that it’s always backed-up and stored.” SpeechLive automatically saves the document and recording the moment they get created, helping to reduce the risk of data loss.

Prince Alfred College embraces the use of technology not only for the teachers but the students as well. Digital technology has evolved over the time and if used effectively in a learning environment it can yield many benefits. John concludes, “SpeechLive has benefited me in terms of time savings. I’ve been using it for a while now.  It fits all my needs in terms of my schedule and my style of work, and I would recommend it to other educators to take advantage of it.”

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