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The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement

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Higher education institutions are combining advanced technology and education strategies to improve student achievement. This combination has led to incredible growth in the expansion of personalized learning paths that help students thrive and interactive experiences that further immerse students in the professions they’re pursuing. These strategies are preparing students to work in fast-paced, technologically-driven environments.

Arguably the greatest impact of education technology on student achievement occurs when organizations become more inclusive to meet diverse student needs. Universities are implementing four key strategies focused on technology to cater to students who may have found higher education out of reach previously.


Assistive Technology Makes Higher Education Accessible to Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are greatly benefiting from new assistive technology.

  • Students with mobility impairments: Sip and puff systems, for example, allow students to control cursors on screens with their mouths, enabling them to tap into course recordings, transcripts and ebooks. Other tools allow similar engagement with head movements.
  • Students have speech impairments: There are tools that make it easier for them to communicate with classmates through real time translation, which allows them to participate in class discussions and collaborate effectively on group assignments.
  • Visually impaired and blind students: Universities can offer speaking screen readers and speaking calculators, as well as electronic braille for anything from text to graphics.
  • Hard of hearing and deaf students: Captioning and transcription solutions enable these students to consume lectures in text form. Verbit provides one of these services via an artificial intelligence based software that enables almost 100% accuracy in real time captioning and quickly-turned transcription. The software is embedded with contextual information, such as professional terminology, thought leader names and book titles, and the software gets smarter with time. Two human professionals also review the transcripts before they’re submitted to guarantee 99% content accuracy.

 

Technology Improves Able-Bodied Student Achievement Too

New teaching technologies are paving the way for innovative strategies to improve student achievement across different learning styles, preferences, and strengths – not just for those with varying abilities or learning disabilities.

Captions support hard of hearing and deaf students, but they also support students who’d like to review their class materials during commutes or while in the library. Transcripts also support students who can’t write or type fast enough to keep up with a professor’s lecture pace. Both support visual learners.

Other methods, including 3D doodlers, also support visual learners who are then able to see art, or architecture, come to life beyond the theory. 3D printers support mobility-disabled students who might not be able to access factory tours, just as much as they support students who learn best by doing something with their hands.

Overall, students must feel comfortable stepping into a workforce that is surrounded by technology. Implementing these technologies in the classroom is one way to support their workplace comfort levels upon graduation.

 

Easy Strategies to Improve Student Learning: Integrate Personalized Knowledge Expansion into Everyday Life

Providing students with access to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), where they can take extra classes without the pressure of exams may help students personalize their learning paths. MOOCs allow students to dig deeper into topics they’re interested in or find challenging.

If these courses are online and students don’t need to buy physical extra books to increase their knowledge base, they can easily integrate more learning into their lives. They can also catch up on their studies during commutes, breaks from work, or while they get ready in the morning. Providing a library of ebooks, audiobooks and curated online sources, such as blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels, can have an overwhelmingly positive effect.

This added technology can work in combination with physical textbooks that allow students to disconnect from their devices and immerse themselves fully. The idea is to give students all the possibilities – online and offline – to succeed. When institutions make it easier for students to choose a learning path that works specifically for them, they’ll see greater success.

 

Increase Student Engagement by Diversifying Technology and Teaching Methods

Another secret sauce to improve student learning is to diversify teaching methods. Interactive education is a great way to do that. Universities can provide coding software products that give feedback in real-time and scanners for lab equipment that lead to tutorials and safety guidelines. Professors can implement virtual reality tours of natural disasters or augmented books that bring visuals of historical locations and biological organs to life.

Improving academic performance with interactive education can still be cost-effective too. For example, it’s possible to conduct video conferences to observe real-time operations and court cases. Professors can arrange for follow up with Q&A sessions with surgeons and lawyers whose career paths their students are following.

Keeping students continuously surprised and engaged with new teaching technology is likely to increase performance and enthusiasm across campus.
 

Making a Difference With Improved Student Performance

Running a campus means serving a wide variety of needs, abilities, health situations and preferences. New technologies are not just serving those with varying abilities, but the student body as a whole.

As more campuses integrate innovative tools in the experiences they create, students are able to immerse themselves and customize their education like never before. The result is that those with disabilities are able to get the full education experience and launch new career paths, while student achievement as a whole will continue to grow each year.

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What is Speech Recognition Used For?

Automatic speech recognition impacts everything from our personal lives to how justice is served in courts to improved student learning. So what exactly is speech recognition? How does speech recognition work across industries that impact our day to day lives, health, education, careers, and chances to thrive?

 

How Did Speech Recognition Begin?

It was 1952 when Bell Laboratories presented Audrey, the first speech recognition system, to the world. Audrey was able to recognize digits when spoken by a person. Ten years later, IBM’s Shoebox could already understand 16 spoken words in English, reports PCWorld. The US Department of Defense’s interest in the technology in the ’70s propelled significant growth.

Other important milestones included Carnegie Mellon’s introduction of the Harpy system, which was able to understand 1,011 words, and Bell Laboratories’ development of technology with the ability to recognize multiple people’s voices.


What is Speech Recognition Software and How Does it Work?

Automatic speech recognition is a software’s capability to understand spoken human language. Today’s tools can understand complex sentences and the jargon of various industries. Uses range from dictating notes to an app where notes are saved in text format to handling larger tasks like booking a car or ordering your groceries.

Speech recognition works by combining statistical modeling systems. In early speech recognition systems, if the words spoken matched a certain set of rules, the program could determine what the words were.

It’s important to note that the human language is full of nuances. Accents, dialects and mannerisms can vastly change the way certain words or phrases are spoken or meant. Today’s speech recognition systems involve many mathematical calculations to come up with the most accurate understanding of how a word is pronounced, or where one word ends and another begins. It looks at how different words are combined together and much more, across more than 200 trillion possibilities. The more the software is trained, the smarter and more accurate it gets.

 

Speech Recognition Affects Our Lives

From the legal system to healthcare to customer service, speech recognition software is being applied to create ease for businesses and affect our lives in a variety of ways.

 

What is Speech Recognition Used for in the Legal System?

The legal industry has long been transcribing its procedures to guarantee all parties have quick access to everything that was said on the record. A transcription ensures no party tries to change what was said later on, and it makes it easier to find and pull necessary quotes from a proceeding quickly.

When legal professionals record depositions or hearings with a transcription software that includes AI speech recognition they get a more accurate transcript, and receive it quicker. The software recognizes the speech and meaning of complex legal terminology in the recording. It’s then able to put these words into context the more it is trained. Transcripts are often ready either in real time or within a few days, and some providers are already able to guarantee 99% accuracy.

 

What is Speech Recognition Used for in Healthcare?

Like in the legal system, accuracy in healthcare matters significantly. A growing number of health-focused companies are stepping up to develop speech recognition algorithms. There are apps that take doctors’ notes for them during an exam or consultation, allowing doctors to better focus on patients. In operating rooms, doctors’ concentration can be a differentiator in saving a life and keeping hands sterile is critical as well. Instead of touching devices, surgeons can simply talk to them.

Other apps focus on empowering patients. People with speech impairments, often caused by stroke, TBI and autism, can better communicate with their environment as a whole, including voicing medical concerns to doctors who previously might not have understood their concerns.

 

What is Speech Recognition Used for in Customer Service?

Speech recognition technology is often used to offer self service. Contact center software, also known as IVR or interactive voice response technology, is often used for call routing. A customer tells the machine what he or she needs, and the machine provides the extension of the professional most equipped to help.

This use of speech recognition can be helpful when businesses are handling multiple calls. For example, when a customer calls to check bus schedules, she can state her departure location and destination out loud, and the contact center software will reply with the best bus route. When a customer prefers to talk to a human agent, she may be asked to state identifying information, such as her name, username, and phone number. She is then referred to the customer agent, who already has this identifying information on hand. As technology advances, it’s possible that customers will be recognized based on the unique characteristics of their voice, without the need to give this identifying information.

 

What is Speech Recognition Used for in Our Everyday Lives?

Speech recognition algorithms impact our everyday personal lives. At home, we can ask smart devices to find us a playlist or change the lighting without touching a physical computer or phone.

You can use speech recognition to provide GPS directions to your office or put on your favorite show via a smart TV or online with YouTube. This technology aids individuals with disabilities, the elderly, or even kids, helping them search for and consume entertainment. 

 

Where Speech Recognition Makes Some of the Biggest Impact

Technology has always been about empowering human abilities. Speech recognition technology is making a huge impact, opening the door to voice-to-text and transcription possibilities. These technologies help deaf and hard of hearing students gain access to higher education which they didn’t have previously. That accessibility took years to develop, but now it happens instantaneously.

Verbit’s AI speech recognition engine, for example, is trained to automatically recognize countless words, professional terms, thought leaders’ names and rare book titles. Along with a range of other engines, the software is able to create real time transcription, so students can follow the class just like their peers.

When transcription is not done in real time, it’s reviewed by two human professionals, and their edits are used to train the software further. The more an organization uses the software, the faster students gain access to accurate educational content, reducing the barriers to education.

Visual learners, commuters and those who study in a second language are also positively impacted by speech recognition as an assistive technology in classrooms. Alternative learning paths provided by assistive technologies personalize the experience and set more students up for success when compared to traditional learning methods.

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