TRAIN: Q&A Session

What’s the difference between the software CaseViewNet and having a CaseViewNet license?
CaseViewNet is a free realtime-viewing software created by Stenograph. You can write to CaseViewNet from Case CATalyst and all other CAT software via serial cables, StenoCast, and the Live Deposition router (without Rapid Refresh functionality). Exception: You currently cannot write to CaseViewNet from Case CATalyst with a traditional router without purchasing the CaseViewNet license (further details provided below).
What is Rapid Refresh?
Rapid Refresh is breakthrough technology that updates your client’s computer screen with all the editing changes you make to the transcript instantaneously. This is available only to Case CATalyst users by purchasing a CaseViewNet license to unlock this functionality.
Note: CaseViewNet has full refresh features when sending realtime via the traditional router and the LiveDeposition router (with a purchased license from Stenograph).
Does other realtime-viewing software have the refresh functionality?
CAT systems outputting to the Bridge protocol can take advantage of refresh features, however, it is not quite the same as Stenograph’s Rapid Refresh. The Bridge refresh features physically rewrite the entire transcript to refl ect the changes made instead of instantly making the change (as with Rapid Refresh). Therefore, it can be a slow process (if you are currently writing to page 205 but making changes on page 10). Because of this fact, some reporters choose to use the refresh feature only during breaks.
Do I have to purchase a license from Stenograph to use CaseViewNet?
No, you do not have to purchase a license from Stenograph to use the CaseViewNet software. Without purchasing the yearly license, CaseViewNet will function as it normally would, without any of your edits being refl ected on the realtime transcript viewed by counsel. Purchasing the CaseViewNet license unlocks the functionality of Rapid Refresh and allows you to output your realtime feed wirelessly to PCs via a traditional router. It also unlocks the ability to output your realtime feed to iPads.
Do I have to purchase realtime-viewing software manufactured by my CAT vendor?
No, you do not have to purchase the realtime-viewing software manufactured by your CAT vendor. There are many choices out there, and it can be overwhelming! The free realtime-viewing software (CaseViewNet and Bridge) will work with all CAT systems (outputting to CaseViewNet protocol or Bridge protocol). All CAT software will output to LiveNote or Summation. Some courtrooms have specifi c requirements that make it diffi cult to use your first selection in realtime-viewing software. Maybe you don’t have the additional funds to purchase additional software (or functionality) at this time. Maybe you’re just looking for all the good free stuff for the time being.
However, if you have the choice of what realtime-viewing software to use, you may want to consider staying with the software your CAT vendor manufactures: for Stenograph, that means CaseViewNet; for Eclipse, Bridge; for StenoCat, TrialBook; and for ProCAT, Denoto. Your CAT vendor has specifically created this realtime-viewing software for you and your setup, and you may want to take that into consideration.
What is the difference between a traditional router and a router that has special firmware loaded on it?
As discussed in a previous article, a traditional router is a piece of hardware that allows you to create a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). You can purchase a router from your CAT vendor or any electronic store right off the shelf. When you create a LAN, you do not have Internet access; when you create a WAN, you do have Internet access. The router allows computers to communicate with each other wirelessly using a LAN or a WAN.
LiveDeposition has a router called LocalNet. The physical router is similar to what you would purchase from your CAT vendor or electronic store right off the shelf. However, LiveDeposition’s router has special fi rmware (or software) preloaded onto its router that allows it to function like a traditional router but also allows it to complete other special tasks. Specifi cally, LiveDeposition’s LocalNet router allows you to output your realtime feed to CaseViewNet or Bridge wirelessly (through a LAN or WAN) without purchasing a special license from your specifi c CAT vendor and without having to update your software. LiveDeposition charges $199 for a yearly license fee to use its particular router.

TRAIN: Your next realtime stop

By Lisa Knight
With so many different options regarding realtime-viewing software, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of choices! Perhaps you’ve been meaning to keep your CAT software up to date but just haven’t. You’re not making excuses — it’s just the facts. What options do you have for outputting your realtime feed? How will you be able to output your realtime feed to a computer using CaseViewNet? LiveNote? Bridge? TrialBook? Summation? How much will it cost? Can you ditch the cables and go wireless without upgrading your software? Will you be outputting to computers? PCs or Macs? iPads? Kindles? Droids?

In my previous article (TRAIN: Ways to hook up in the January 2014 JCR), we talked about the different hardware you might use to output your realtime feed: cables, Stenocast, and wirelessly through a router. The additional questions you may be asking yourself might include: Which realtime software works best with my current CAT software? Which is the most economical choice for my realtime setup? Where do I start?

First, let’s get a better understanding of some terms that will be used in the article as well as answer some tricky questions that might be a little confusing to understand at first.

WEB BROWSER

A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. Examples are: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

URL

A uniform resource locator, also known as Web address, particularly when used with HTTP, is a specific haracter string that constitutes a reference to a resource (e.g., http:/www.ncra.org/TRAIN).

ADDRESS BAR

An address bar (also location bar or URL bar) is a feature in a Web browser that shows the current URL and accepts a typed URL that navigates the user to a chosen website. (It’s the physical place where you type in a URL or web address.)

IP [INTERNET PROTOCOL] ADDRESS

A unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifi es each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network (e.g., 192.161.1.1). This number is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer, router) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.

For example: Your home or office has an address containing a number, a street name, a city, and a state. Your computer’s IP address is similar to your home address — it tells other computers where your computer “lives.”

Note: Even though IP address has the word Internet in its name, you do not need to have Internet access to be able to use this functionality on computers, phones, or tablets. If your device has a Web browser, then you are able to work with IP addresses by simply typing it (192.168.1.1) into the address bar.

The IP address has many computer functionalities that have nothing to do with the Internet. For example, the IP address is where you program your new router (renaming your router and adding WPA/WPA2 security). By typing in 192.168.1.1 (which is typically the default IP address with all routers), you will have access to your router’s settings and be able to make the necessary changes.

CASEVIEW PROTOCOL

The CAT software outputs information in CaseView “language.”

Think of it this way: If you are speaking Chinese to someone who only speaks French, it will be very difficult (next to impossible) to communicate.

It’s the same with your computer. Your computer “speaks” a specifi c language. If your software is “speaking” (or outputting) realtime CaseView protocol, another computer that doesn’t understand the language of CaseView will not be able to communicate with your realtime feed. The good news here is CaseView protocol is universal to all CAT software (meaning all CAT systems output in the CaseView protocol).

BRIDGE PROTOCOL

The software outputs information in Bridge “language.” (See language explanation in CaseView protocol above.)

INTERNET STREAMING

Our realtime feed is being transmitted over the Internet to anywhere in the world. Internet streaming may also include the transmission of video and audio (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP) in conjunction with your realtime feed.

EASY DOES IT

You don’t have to run out and spend $1,000 on a couple of iPads and a router right out of the chute. You probably already have what you need to offer realtime (with your old CAT computer acting as the realtime-viewing computer) at your next deposition or other proceeding.

If you’re like me, you may update your computer system every two to three years. For me, personally, after that period of time, the operating system software (XP, Vista, Windows 7) is outdated and is most likely making my computer programs (specifi cally my CAT software) and ancillary functions run slower, which can make my whole computer system less stable. The last thing I want to have happen in a realtime deposition is the dreaded Blue Screen of Death or my computer system continually hanging.

Having had the good fortune to report way more patent cases than I care to admit, there’s one thing I learned: Manufacturers of computers (and most everything else electronic) have something called planned obsolescence. What does that mean? They want/ need you to update your electronic devices, whether it’s your smartphone, your microwave, or your computer. I think it’s an evil plot on behalf of Corporate America to make me part with my hard-earned money, but at the end of the day, it is my reality if I want to be a successful realtime reporter — not to mention that technology is changing faster than you can boot up an old XP computer!

How many of you still drive the same car you did 10 years ago? How many of you are using the same smartphone you did five years ago? How many of you are wearing the same clothes you wore seven years ago? The thing is, whether you realize it or not, we are constantly updating lots of things in our lives. Sure, a new blouse may be cheaper than a new iPad, but is that new suit cheaper? Maybe not. You wear those (sometimes expensive) business suits because you want to be treated like the skillful and competent court reporter you are. You invest in your professional appearance because you realize it does make a difference in how counsel perceives you. Your computer, your writer, and your software are integral to your professional appearance, so it’s important to stay current.

The last thing you want to do is to be hired to report a (lucrative) realtime job where your realtime feed won’t work properly because your drivers fail to load properly, or a myriad of other issues, because you’re still using the Windows XP operating system. Just “because it always works” may not be a good enough reason to stick with an antiquated system. Dial-up Internet was a deal breaker in its day. How many people still use it? Is it even still around?

Technology and software change at breakneck speed — and although you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in “All Things Computer,” you can be part of the realtime surge that will not only allow you to increase your income but also help secure a future for you and secure the future of the court reporting profession. Although attending a Realtime Systems Administrator class will give you many more details on specific software as well as how to accomplish specific setups, you can also get an amazing amount of realtime information by joining or starting a TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide) group in your area. You can already get a lot of your realtime questions answered and view informative YouTube videos by visiting ncra.org/TRAIN and clicking on Turbo TRAIN: You will find a treasure trove of phenomenal information the TRAIN Committee has compiled just for you!

Although there are many ways to output your realtime feed to computers, tablets, and smartphones, here’s a little more in-depth description of what is currently available in the marketplace. Remember, the realtime landscape is ever changing. The software developers are trying to make our jobs easier all the time! We have many more choices than we did five years ago! When you stay informed, you’re able to make better decisions on when and where to spend your money.

Stenograph has two free realtime-viewing software programs: CaseViewNet (CVN) and iCVNet. CaseViewNet uses the industry standard CaseView protocol, which means if your CAT software can output to CaseView, you can use CaseViewNet. The CaseViewNet software is used with Windows-based computers, netbooks, and Windows Surface Pro tablets. This realtime-viewing software can be used on all CAT systems with output through serial cables, STenocast, and wirelessly through LiveDeposition’s LocalNet.

iCVNet is a free app that is compatible with iPads that requires a wireless (LAN or WAN) connection. However, a CaseViewNet license is required for purchase from Stenograph in order to allow you to send your realtime feed to iCVNet as well as take advantage of the Rapid Refresh functionality.

Go to Stenograph.com and click on the Software tab to download the free CaseViewNet software. To download the free iPad app (iCVNet), visit the App Store on the iPad and search for iCVNet. If you purchase the CaseViewNet license from Stenograph ($295 the fi rst year, $175 for each additional year), you are able to open up the Rapid Refresh functionality of the software so all the changes/corrections you make in your Case CATalyst transcript are instantly made on any CVN or iCVNet feed. No extra buttons to push or commands to execute — the CVN and iCVNet fi le automatically mirrors what is on your screen, word for word.

On a personal note, I use iCVN to iPads with the Rapid Refresh all the time! It makes me look (and feel) like a court reporting rock star when everything on counsel’s screen is squeaky clean and practically perfect — especially in an interpreted deposition when the translator is depending upon my (immaculate) feed for every single question.

Without purchasing the CaseViewNet license from Stenograph, you are still able to use the CaseViewNet realtime-viewing software. The means of connection is only using serial cables, Stenocast, and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router. You cannot connect wirelessly using a traditional router, which you may purchase through your CAT manufacturer, Best Buy, or other electronic store.

At this point, you are probably shaking your head in complete confusion. “Did I read that right? Is that a typo? Did she just say I can connect using a router and then say I cannot connect using a router?” You did read that right, and you do not have to go out and buy another pair of reading glasses! Let me try to explain the difference because there is an important distinction to understand here.

Comparing the traditional router and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, they are both fruit, but that’s where the comparisons stop. The traditional router and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router are both pieces of hardware that allow you to create LANs and WANs. However, the LiveDeposition LocalNet router has special firmware loaded onto its router that allows you to do things you cannot do with a traditional router.

Think of it like a valet car key and your regular car key. Your regular car key unlocks the doors, the trunk, and the glove compartment, and it starts the engine. The valet car key only unlocks the doors and starts the engine; it does not unlock the trunk or glove compartment. This is so you can safely store items in these areas without fear of them being stolen while having someone else park your car. Sure, they look like identical keys, but you definitely don’t want to be using your valet car key when you need to get into your locked glove compartment to retrieve your iPhone. You can try and try and try. It will never work. It’s the same with these two routers.They look identical, but they are defi nitely not the same!

Note: The CaseViewNet and iCVNet software are free. You can write to CaseViewNet from any modern CAT software using the serial connection mode (serial cables, StenoCast, and LiveDeposition Local Net Router). The CaseViewNet license is available to all Case CATalyst users. You will have the Rapid Refresh functionality once
you purchase this license from Stenograph as well as the ability to use iCVN and iPads.

Stenograph also offers a cloud-streaming product specifically for the Case CATalyst user with their CVN or iCVNet products. Plans and pricing differ.

For best results, those reporters on Case CATalyst who are looking for a free realtime-viewing software that is designed specifically for their software might consider staying with their CAT vendor and using CaseViewNet and iCVN for their realtime-viewing software.

Eclipse has a free realtime-viewing software program named Bridge. This software program uses the Bridge protocol output as well as the CaseView protocol output, so if your software can output to Bridge or CaseView, you can use the Bridge software. Bridge is a software program that is used strictly on Windows-based computers with a connection means of serial cables, Stenocast, or wireless (LAN or WAN). The free Bridge realtime-viewing software has a refresh feature functionality as well (not Rapid Refresh).
Visit eclipsecat.com/content/bridge for a link to download the free Bridge software for your PC.

Eclipse also offers for-pay realtime-viewing software called Bridge Mobile that outputs realtime feed to tablets. It is designed to work on any mobile device. It does this by using Web browser technology.

Remember, that does not mean it requires Internet access. At the time of publication, pricing for Bridge Mobile has yet to be determined. It is anticipated that Bridge Mobile will be available two different ways: an app installed from the App Store and the browser version.

If you want the feed to be broadcast remotely (to off-site participants), you would obviously need to have Internet access, or create a Wide Area Network, in order to access the Eclipse server.

If the realtime feed is only being used in the room you are working in, you do not need to have Internet access. You can create a LAN. The realtime feed does not need to interface with the Eclipse server to accomplish this. The local server sending the realtime feed is the Eclipse Connection Magic program operating on the reporter’s computer. Any device that has an Internet browser (even though not connected to the Internet) can access the realtime feed in this way using an IP address.

For best results, those reporters on Eclipse who are looking for free realtime-viewing software that is designed specifically for their software might consider staying with their CAT vendor and using Bridge for their realtime-viewing software.

StenoCAT offers a for-pay realtime-viewing and Internet streaming software called TrialBook that works specifically with its StenoCAT software. It is browser-based software, like Bridge Mobile. Because it uses a browser, you are able to output your realtime feed to any device that has a browser: iPhone, iPad, Android tablets, Android phones, Windows phones, Windows tablets, PCs, and Mac computers. The cost is $299 per year.

ProCAT offers a for-pay realtime-viewing software called Denoto that works specifically with its ProCAT software. It is browser-based software, like Bridge Mobile. Because it uses a browser, you are able to output your realtime feed to any device that has a browser: iPhone, iPad, Android tablets, Android phones, Windows phones, Windows tablets, PCs, and Mac computers. The cost is $295 per year.

LiveNote (aka Case Notebook) offers its LiveNote realtime-viewing software program. This software program uses both the CaseView protocol output and the Bridge protocol output, so any CAT software that can output to CaseView or Bridge will be able to use the LiveNote realtime software. The LiveNote software is used strictly on computers. An iPad app is in development with expected release sometime in 2014.

LiveNote offers Certified LiveNote Reporter classes and certifications around the country (usually around five classes per year). The cost of the 1.5-day class is $395. The first part is covered by Mark Kislingbury, who shares some of his secrets to speed and clean realtime writing. The second part of the class is learning about the technical aspects of a realtime connection — including how to connect to the LiveNote software through cables, StenoCast wireless, the Internet, and a LAN router wireless connection — with hands-on training and help. LiveNote offers CEUs for its certification class and has a written and hands-on connection test at the conclusion of the course. The pass rate is 95 percent and above.

When you pass the Certified LiveNote Reporter Exam, you are also given five loaner LiveNote licenses, which means five free versions of LiveNote to use on the realtime computers you loan to counsel for their use at the deposition or other setting.

The LiveNote software is a case analysis tool for law firms and is not a free software (unless you take and pass the CLR course/examination). For law firms, the LiveNote software is priced differently, depending on the lawyer and his or her individual needs.

LiveNote realtime-viewing software can be used with all CAT systems with output through serial cables, virtual serial cables (StenoCast), Internet, and wirelessly through a router.
If your CAT output is set to the Bridge protocol, Case Notebook (LiveNote) versions 3 and above will have the auto-refresh functionality in their realtime transcript.

LiveDeposition recently released a new realtime product called LocalNet. The cost is $199 per year. This includes the licensing fee to use its LocalNet software and a wireless router as well as 24/7 technical support and training. It also includes any updates or enhancements the company makes to the product.

Network routers contain built-in programmable logic called firmware. The firmware is embedded software that implements network and security protocols for that specific model of hardware device. LiveDeposition has modified the firmware on its router so it operates differently than an ordinary router you would purchase off the shelf. LiveDeposition’s router is specially designed to work with its particular setup.

Regarding realtime-viewing software, LiveDeposition supports and outputs to them all: CaseViewNet, Bridge, LiveNote, Denoto, TrialBook, Summation, everything.In addition to working on Windows and Mac computers, LiveDeposition has mobile apps for iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, so you are able to output your realtime feed to those devices.

LiveDeposition has an app that supports its iPad functionality (go to the App Store and search for LiveDeposition) as well as a Droid app (go to Google Play and search for LiveDeposition). You can also output your realtime to the iPhone by downloading the iPhone app for LiveDeposition. I’m not sure I would ever recommend to a reporter or counsel to receive their realtime feed on the small screen of their smartphone, but it’s always nice to know your options!

When writing to the CaseViewNet protocol output, the LiveDeposition setup allows the Rapid Refresh functionality with a for-pay CVN license from Stenograph. When writing to the Bridge protocol output, the LiveDeposition setup allows the auto-refresh functionality for most realtime-viewing software.

LiveDeposition also has a Web-based streaming product that any reporter can use so long as he or she has the StenoDirectPlus software loaded on his or her computer. Plans and pricing differ. See LiveDeposition.com for more details.

Realtime chart

YOU’RE WORTH IT

So where do you want to spend your time and money? How much is your time worth?
Is it more important to get the cables off the tables and write wirelessly without worrying about the headache of setting up counsels’ computers and keeping your fi ngers crossed their computers have administrator rights that allow you (or them) to access their device manager to make the necessary changes so realtime will work?
Will you be able to create the realtime setting without Internet access? Will you have Internet access if the law firm or other setting does not offer it? How much will that cost?
Are you looking for an easier way to output your realtime feed without having to worry about loading drivers or software to counsels’ computers?
Do you want counsel to see all your mistranslates and untranslates, or do you want to make sure you are using a software/hardware combination that will reflect all your changes?
Will the quality of your realtime draft transcript as you are writing be a make-or-break deal for counsel and his or her ability to use, read, or understand your work product during the deposition or other proceedings?
Yes, I do appreciate all this information can be a bit overwhelming (and I know I’ve given you a lot to consider), but you’ve got to start somewhere! And remember, NCRA (through TRAIN and their many other committees) is here to help you! NCRA has YouTube videos that explain the device manager and how to use CaseViewNet or Bridge. There are so many different ways to deliver a quality realtime product to counsel. The choice is all yours!
Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, is a freelancer in Littleton, Colo., and co-chair of the TRAIN Task Force.
She can be reached at lisa.knight@mac.com. For more information about TRAIN, visit NCRA.org/TRAIN.
See also: TRAIN’s Q&A Session

State of the CART

By Jen Schuck
CART captioning has come a long way in the past 10 years. Gone are the days of sitting next to the client with cables strewn all over the place, and it does not take ong to figure out that fewer cords are better when providing any kind of captioning services. Still, power outlets seem to be a commodity today as everyone has an electronic device of some sort. Ever try to charge a device at an airport? Below are just a few of the many areas in which CART captioning has changed over the past decade.

THE STENO MACHINE

Every CART captioner has a steno machine and these machines have gotten significantly smaller over the years. The most lightweight machine on the market today is the LightSpeed, weighing in at only 2.6 pounds, but there are many options on the market weighing less than five pounds. This is a welcome change, as weight and size are a big consideration when providing CART captioning on a campus or in any setting where being mobile is imperative. Today’s most up-to-date machines also offer wireless connectivity to CAT software, which eliminates tethering CART captioners to their laptops. In addition, the battery life on today’s machines has also greatly improved.

THE LAPTOP

There is an array of laptops to choose from these days. While everyone has a brand preference, the number of USB hubs on a machine is still one of the major factors to consider, followed by size and weight. Manufacturers now offer immense power in a thin, lightweight machine. If the consumer is going to be using the CART captioner’s laptop to view the text, a larger screen may be preferable. Luckily, this does not mean that the laptop has to weigh you down. There are nice thin laptops with large screens on the market with some brands even offering up to seven hours of battery life – again, one less cord and no need for that elusive power outlet.

DELIVERING CART CAPTIONING

Once you have the basic needs covered, next comes the question of how your consumer is going to receive his or her CART captions. There are so many more options in 2014 than there were in 2004. For example, personal devices are the smallest and lightest way to go, but there’s also the option of outputting to a tablet, which will require Internet access or a LAN connection. Advantage Software offers BridgeMobile as a platform to view text on any computer with Internet access, and Stenograph offers CaseViewNet. These are great options to transmit text to a consumer, either on-site or remotely. Contact the vendors for more information.
If Internet access is not available at the location of the job, access can be supplied by a hotspot, something a lot of cell phones have the ability to do now. Contact your cell service provider for further details. If you have to connect to the Internet via a LAN, today’s routers are even smaller and more convenient to carry than they have been in the past. Check with your CAT software vendor to see if a specific brand is recommended.
If Internet access is not going to be available in any form, Stenocast offers products to output to netbooks or other computers via Bluetooth technology. They offer products to connect steno machines to laptops as well as to connect the CART captioner’s laptop to the consumer’s laptop. Check out stenocast.com for more information.
For those CART captioners who caption large conferences, Text on Top is a great choice to eliminate the need for projectors and extra screens. This is a wireless device that allows a CART captioner to place captions onto a screen that is also displaying a PowerPoint or other type of presentation. The output of the CART captions look like closed captioning through an encoder, but it only uses two USB devices: one on the CART captioner’s computer and one on the computer displaying the PowerPoint. For more information, check out text-on-top.com.
With technology moving so fast, I can only imagine what the next decade will bring. Making CART captioning more mobile may possibly be the next frontier. It’s been done, but requests to make it more readily available are occurring more often. Devices like Google Glass may allow walking CART captioning (see “A Glimpse of the Future“) to be more commonplace in the future.
CART captioning is definitely a growing field. With all of this emerging technology and equipment becoming lighter and smaller, the possibilities to positively change our consumers’ lives are endless.
Jen Schuck, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, is a CART provider in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the chair of NCRA’s CART Community of Interest. She can be reached at jen@jsreporting.com.

Five quick and easy ways to earn CEUs

1309_CEUs
On September 30, NCRA’s 2013 education cycle will come to an end. NCRA members with cycles ending in 2013 have a number of quick and easy ways to earn CEUs in the time remaining. Here are five ways you can get CEUs that are relatively quick and painless.

1. Play the game. In 2012, NCRA created a learning game called Courting Disaster that offers members a fun professional development opportunity based on the challenges reporters face every day. Since its launch, more than 2,000 people have logged in to the game and considered the various scenarios presented in the interactive narrative. Players are presented with a number of quests, or scenarios, and are asked to choose how to best proceed. With each decision, players must balance their desire to serve their clients well while maintaining, according to the NCRA Code, “their profession at the highest level.”

The game is free to play. To get started with “Courting Disaster,” simply go to www.ncra.org/CourtingDisaster and start playing along. You can play as many times as you like. During each gaming session, you’ll be presented with six of 12 possible quests. The quests appear randomly, so every time you play, you’ll have a chance to see new content and have a unique experience. To earn CEUs after finishing the game, complete an e-seminar that examines the issues encountered in the game in more detail. A screen at the end of the game will direct you to the webinar.

2. Catch up with NCRA’s distance learning offerings. NCRA offers more than 100 on-demand e-seminars and live webinars on topics ranging from ethics and grammar to realtime and administrative law. Both formats give you access to the video and downloadable handout materials from highly regarded speakers in the court reporting-related fields. With e-seminars, the attendee can start, pause, and stop the e-seminar on demand. With webinars, attendees can ask questions of the speaker. In addition, attendees have up to 30 days to finish viewing the program. Explore the topics in NCRA’s Distance Learning Library at ncra.inreachce.com/.

3. Prepare for an emergency. NCRA offers CEUs to members who take first aid or emergency preparedness classes. A great place to start is with the Red Cross (redcross.org) or the American Heart Association (heart.org). The first-aid classes put on by these two organizations are accepted by NCRA for CEUs, as is the Red Cross’s emergency preparedness class. CPR classes given by other organizations, such as at a hospital or fire station, are generally accepted but should be cleared first through NCRA’s continuing education department (contact sbryant@ncra.org if you need further information). Please note that NCRA limits these classes to 1.2 CEUs (12 hours of credit) per cycle.

4. Go through your records. See if there are any educational opportunities that weren’t submitted or were somehow overlooked. Classes should be closely related to court reporting and not paid for by your employer. If the event was held in the past three years, it may be worth the time to see if it might be CEU-worthy. In addition, get more information on NCRA’s website (at www.ncra.org/Certifications) to see if any other qualifying experience, such as board or committee experience, pro bono services, or the transcription of Veterans History Project tapes, may not have been credited on the CEU transcript.

5. Check the calendar. Many state and local court reporting associations offer CEUs during their annual conventions in September, and this year is no exception. Check the JCR calendar of upcoming events to see if a live event will be held near you. Or visit a more complete, interactive calendar on NCRA’s website (www.ncra.org/calendar). State associations, members, and court reporting related organizations post details about their events at no charge.