Ai-Media trials live captioning in UK schools

Thursday, 25 September 2014 17:08pm

The Australian-based access company Ai-Media, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the UK charity Nesta, has been working on a project which looks at the benefits of real-time captioning and transcriptions in British classrooms.

35 primary school teachers have taken part in the project, which is called the Visible Classroom and is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. They have had real-time captions provided by Ai-Media which are streamed onto an electronic whiteboard or tablets during lessons, and afterwards children are able to read the transcripts.

In an earlier trial of the system in Australia, it was found that the captions also benefited non-Deaf students, and allowed teachers to review their professional practice. The UK project is producing similar results.   

In an article about the project on Ai-Media’s website, Oliver Quinlan, Project Manager – Digital Education at Nesta, writes, “In our initial training days some of the teachers were sceptical about how useful captions would be for the seven to eleven year olds in their classes unless they experienced difficulties with their hearing. Many of them have been pleasantly surprised to see that pupils have been spontaneously looking back through the transcripts to check their understanding of tasks. This has been a collaborative pilot project and the teachers have been feeding back on their use of the technology throughout, helping us to develop it and maximise the impact of this technique for supporting both teachers and their pupils.”

See our Education section for more information about the educational benefits of captioning.


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