Automated Speech Recognition and the Future of Studying
Tech giants have introduced the world to their speech recognition platforms and we are now accustomed to speaking to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. This technology has changed the way we find information and it is poised to change the way students study.
Automated speech recognition (ASR) solutions are able to automatically create text transcripts from the audio tracks in videos. One company that provides this solution is Echo360.
In an interview with Edsurge, Echo360 CEO, Fred Singer, explains that their platform uses Amazon Transcribe to create transcripts from classroom videos. Amazon Transcribe analyzes audio files that contain speech and uses advanced machine learning techniques to transcribe the voice data into text.
What does this technology do?
This technology records what is happening in the classroom and turns it into easily searchable and referenceable video content that students can access anywhere, anytime, on their digital devices.
The video captures what’s going on in the class from moment to moment and students can watch these videos and read transcripts of exactly what was said and by whom.
“The main benefit here is obvious; students have access to searchable transcripts, automatically generated, so they get them quickly enough to be useful. And it’s this service that makes it possible for our system to turn a classroom lecture into a study guide,” Singer told Edsurge.
Amazon Transcribe can identify each speaker in the video and can create a transcript which is aligned with the video using timestamps.
Foundational educational technology
Singer said that ASR was becoming a foundational educational technology. He predicts this technology will change the way students take notes and how they interact in class – they won’t just get a recording of the class, but all the keywords they need for sophisticated search and that is huge. Also, ASR will change the way students study because of its ability to link the classroom to other resources and capabilities like note taking, study guides and big data.
ASR levels the learning field for students with disabilities
ASR is of course also an assistive technology for students with disabilities. For visually and hearing impaired students and those with other learning differences it’s extra difficult to keep up with lectures. ASR technology makes it possible for these students to learn at their own pace viewing their recorded lectures afterwards.
Echo360 has accessibility features that further assist these students that include:
- Video player keyboard controls and closed captioning
- Jaws screen reader support
- Tab accessible page navigation
The recording of classes is also a great aid for students who are not able to attend class due to illness, surgery or family commitments. The technology is already in use in thousands of classrooms at universities and colleges and at a growing number of high schools.
ASR technology is poised to change the way students study. It gives students the opportunity to “attend” a lecture multiple times and the transcripts replace the need for notetaking. It also levels the study experience for students with disabilities.