Monthly Archives: March 2021

Using Microsoft Word to Automatically Transcribe Audio Files

I’ve been conducting interviews in my research for a very long time. And during that time the most laborious part of interviewing has always been transcribing. So, needless to say I was very excited when I discovered that Microsoft Word has a new function to automatically transcribe audio files!

All you need is an premium Microsoft Office365 account – it only works with the online version of Microsoft Word. Check out this short video which talks through how to use the feature.

I’ve already tested the feature and I was really impressed by how quickly the transcription took. Most importantly, I found that it was very accurate.

Have you tried this feature yet and did you find it to be accurate? I’d be really interested to hear your views.

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Academic podcasts

This blog post was stimulated by a discussion I had recently on Twitter and LinkedIn about academic podcasts.

For some time now I’ve been a big fan of the Academics of PA podcast. This is a podcast hosted by Bruce McDonald (North Carolina State University), Josie Schafer (University of Nebraska Omaha) and Will Hatcher (Augusta University). In it they interview some of the most well known academics in public administration and public management (particularly from the US). It has been fascinating to hear about how others have developed their careers, some of the challenges they have faced and what they have learned as a result. It has been especially valuable to hear from prominent professors about issues related to work-life balance.

I was keen to find other academic podcasts that I might also enjoy. This led me to post a question on LinkedIn, and then on Twitter, asking for some recommendations. Interestingly, there are so many more podcasts out there that I wasn’t aware of. Rather than provide an extensive list here I would recommend that you look at the lists provided by Sue Beckingham here: https://socialmediaforlearning.com/2020/12/22/easy-listening-a-collection-of-higher-education-podcasts/ and by Erika Smith here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1e2MXj34YCt_9bKqGZZEwIBlnxXe4qgs04ISJyLdDTko/mobilebasic

From my own perspective I have a real interest in podcasts that relate to my own subject of public administration and management. The above mentioned Academics of PA is a particularly good example of this. From a more practical perspective, and due to my own interest in Scottish public affairs, I also enjoy listening to Politically Speaking which is hosted by Mandy Rhodes, editor of Holyrood Magazine. Finally, although it is a YouTube channel as opposed to a podcast, Public Administration Xchange by Colin Talbot provides some excellent interviews with public administration academics and practitioners.

Given my interest in podcasts related to public administration and management I was delighted when Russ Glennon, from Manchester Metropolitan University, approached me about the potential for doing a podcast like Academics of PA but with a more UK slant on things. In the dark days of late 2020 this seemed like a terrific idea, being able to work with Russ and Karin Bottom (INLOGOV), having some fun chat, and building on what had been done by Bruce, Josie and Will. And so the idea of Public Service Podcasting was born.

In Public Service Podcasting we aim to spread the word about public administration and management scholarship. I’m super excited to be part of the team hosting discussions with some amazing academics from the UK and beyond. Our first episode will be launching soon – make sure to follow us on Twitter to find out more!

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