The University of Southampton

Synote developer wins third major award of the year

Published: 9 September 2010

An ECS academic has won his third major award of the year for his development of accessible technologies, including an open source Web application which transforms learning for all students, including those with disabilities.

Dr Mike Wald of the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) has been named runner-up in the Individual Award category in this year's Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Learning Technologist of the Year Award, which is being announced today (Thursday 9 September) at the ALT conference in Nottingham.

Dr Wald will receive the award for the development of the innovative Synote annotation system.

Synote makes multimedia resources such as video and audio easier to access, search, manage, and exploit. Learners, teachers and other users can create notes, bookmarks, tags, links, images and text captions synchronised to any part of a recording, such as a lecture.

The ALT judges were impressed by the wide applicability of the Synote product and its extensive tagging facilities.

They commented: “Mike led the development of the Synote system […], a free Web application used to transform learning from recorded teaching materials for all students including disabled, dyslexic and second language students. This builds on 10 years of work on speech recognition and is in use in a number of universities in the UK, Europe, and worldwide.”

Earlier this year Dr Wald won a National Teaching Fellowship awarded by the Higher Education Academy for his work in accessible technologies, which also recognised his work on Synote and described it as a tool “used by universities worldwide to transform learning for all students”.

Dr Wald also won a University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award this year for his inspirational, innovative teaching in this field.

Commenting on these achievements, Dr Wald said: "It’s great to have my work recognised through all these awards, and I look forward to this encouraging more teachers, universities and students to use Synote at" ___

Dr Mike Wald is a member of the Learning Societies Lab in the School of Electronics and Computer Science. If you are interested in doing PhD research in this group, you will find more information on our Postgraduate Admissions Pages.

For further information about this story contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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