NCRA Realtime Program: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NCRA Realtime Program?

Previously known as TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide), in 2011, the NCRA Board of Directors completed a large initiative with the NCRA membership, Writing Our Future, which established a number of priorities for our profession, and thus, for NCRA. One of those is to instill within court reporters the absolute importance of being realtime capable. This is a drumbeat that has gone on for years and years, but it is nonetheless critical to the future of our profession, which we know, because that's what members told us through Writing Our Future.

The goal of the Realtime program is not to try and teach realtime per se. One of the goals of the program is to show reporters that realtime isn’t so scary, it isn’t so hard, and the only way that you can get started is to just go do it. Another goal is to increase the number of court reporters capable of providing realtime across the country by offering an analysis of needed equipment, hands-on training on setup and troubleshooting, writing tips, and encouragement to provide realtime services. Realtime is what most notably distinguishes us from electronic/digital reporting. It's time to jump onboard regardless of what has been holding you back.

Do I need to be a CRR or write realtime every day to be a Realtime program leader?

No. Most realtime reporters were doing realtime before they earned their certifications. If you know how to hook up your own equipment and can familiarize yourself with the Realtime Resource Guide, you can pass that knowledge along to others. For beginning realtime reporters, your expertise will be more than some reporters have had access to in the past; so don’t let your own lack of self-confidence be a deterrent. Anytime there are two or more reporters in the same room, everyone leaves with more knowledge than they came with and renewed inspiration to better themselves. Mostly what the Realtime program needs is a willing leader, an organizer, a generous volunteer, and these are skills that you already have if you are considering to become a program leader.

What does it take to lead a Realtime program meeting?

  1. A meeting location: Groups can meet at homes, offices, even the public library.
  2. Access to the realtime resources: Every hardware and software configuration imaginable has been reduced into video tutorials available online. If you can familiarize yourself with its contents, you may direct participants to them and help them step by step through the setup process. Access to the shared DropBox folder can be granted by contacting Sarah Nageotte at senrdr@gmail.com. Sarah will likewise place you in contact with your local TRAIN conductor.
  3. Leadership: Once the hurdle of equipment setup has been completed, future sessions can be more of a potpourri where the group shares briefs and realtime tips that are working for them, meeting on a schedule of their choosing to share some encouragement. As new members join, the collective group can contribute to their training.
  4. Inspiration: You have to start SOMEWHERE! Get started and keep the momentum going for your group, and then we are going to be in a much better place, period! Wishing and a hoping will not make things happen … but action will. If we have a clear goal in mind, we will most certainly get there!