So it's great to see so many people joining live today.
My name is Danielle Chazen and I'm
the Content Manager here at Verbit.
I just wanted to welcome everyone to this webinar.
We know that this is a really
pressing and really important topic
to the higher education community right now,
and what we're all really trying to work together and
collaborate to really navigate
through these really tricky times.
We know that time is of the essence,
and you all are working really hard to get
your courses online as quickly as possible.
Some of you may range from having a lot of
experience already doing this higher institutions,
for lack of a better words,
scrambling right now to get things
up and running in the best way that you can.
So I'm really excited to have with me today. Scott Ready.
Scott is definitely our Resident
Higher Education Expert here at Verbit.
Scott and I really took
a lot to really think about the questions
that you all submitted ahead of time.
We're also going to be taking
live questions throughout this webinar as well.
So we encourage you to enter those into the chat box
if you have any pressing questions
that you'd like us to address.
We'll be taking those at the end.
First, we're going to just go
back through the questions that people submitted
ahead of time that are really top of
mind to help provide some insights.
We encourage you to chime
in on the chat as much as possible.
This is definitely meant to
be a collaborative environment.
With that, Scott, I will turn it over to you.
One thing to note and Scott
will talk you through this in a moment,
is closed captioning and
a full transcript are available as
accessibility measures to help
you take in the information and engage with it.
Scott will talk you through now how to
set that up as well as introduce himself.
Fantastic. Thank you so much,
Danielle, and welcome everybody.
Yes, if you would like to enable
the closed captioning or the live transcript,
to enable the closed captioning,
just click on the CC closed caption button
in the menu bar at the bottom of your Zoom screen.
To enable the live transcript,
click the arrow next to the closed caption button
and select view full transcript,
and a transcript will appear
on the right side of your screen.
You'll be able to follow along
and read everything that's being said.
So with that,
let me share just a little bit about myself.
As Danielle said, my name is Scott Ready,
and I'm here at Verbit as
the lead for the educational vertical.
I oversee all the educational developments
here at Verbit.
Prior to that, I have worked in the field of
education and accessibility for 30 years now.
So that gives a hint as to how old I am also.
Both in education, corporate,
my parents were both teachers
at the Missouri School for the Deaf.
They were deaf, and we had the awesome privilege of
growing up on campus of the school for the deaf.
It was a great immersion experience for me
from the age of 3 to 11 to be able
to have that kind of an experience.
So I bring all of that to what we're going
to discuss here in the next 30 minutes.
So thank you again for joining.
I want to start by taking a look
at the responses that we received.
It didn't take long for everyone to respond
with viable solutions,
utilizing tools that we're already at our fingertips.
Video conferencing, for example,
it's the next best thing to being there.
It's as simple as connecting using
our smart phones or with a laptop, with a Webcam.
Everyone on this webinar is experiencing
all the topics that we're going to be
discussing to varying degrees.
So I would really like to ask all of you
to please contribute in the chat feature
additional ways that you've been able to achieve
on the topics that we're going to discuss.
I've added a little quote here,
we've all heard of necessity is the mother of invention.
Well, maybe in this case, its adoption.
So let's dive in.
So the first question that I often hear is,
will this COVID-19 have a long-term impact
on educational methods?
Well, another quote, Henry Ford.
He once said that,
"If I had asked people what they wanted,
they would have said faster horses."
Instead, of course, we all know that
Henry Ford invented the automobile.
So sometimes when we're left to our preferences
about any kind of optional changes,
we probably wouldn't change.
But this situation forces us all to change.
We're all in this together.
Every one of us has changed in ways
that we've never experienced in the past.
Now, we have this new experience,
what are the realized benefits of
this experience that we can carry forward?
It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
So my goal is to possibly help to break it down
and look at some of the specific areas.
As Danielle said,
there was a lot of fantastic questions
that were submitted,
and so we're going to address some of those
as many as we can,
and then we will have a few minutes
at the end for live questions.
All of the questions are also going to be
available post this webinar.
So when we look at the potential impact,
here's some things that I hope we'll be able
to achieve from the experience that we've had.
Is that when we've been forced to do something,
sometimes, we don't want to do it.
But when we've been forced to
do something, then afterwards,
I guess that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Have you ever had that experience?
Have you ever been forced and then realize,
okay, well, I guess it wasn't that bad.
I've worked closely with education technology
for over 20 years and have experienced many resistors.
I too, have found myself resisting
adoption of technology until I've been forced.
For most everyone I have worked with
regarding educational technology,
the basic questions needing to be answered are,
why is this technology better than how I'm doing it?
Will this technology enable me to achieve
more or better outcomes, and how?
If we can answer these two questions, then yes,
education will be impacted by
the experience that we've all had during this pandemic.
Technology is simply a tool.
If I needed a hammer,
a screwdriver is going to be
a poor tool for nailing a board.
So the three results that
I am hopefully going to see happen is that
there's going to be a greater adoption of technology.
That we're going to take a look at hybrid ways
of incorporating technology
into our teaching methodology.
Secondly, it increased collaborative learning.
Right now, in this situation,
we're not able to stand on
stage or in front of the classroom and lecture.
So how have we been able to create
a more collaborative learning environment?
Then third, empower learners
to greater ownership of their learning.
Help them to be more assertive,
have more control of what they're learning.
As we discuss achieving
our educational goals while
in this remote learning state,
remember, there are a variety of
individuals that are engaging in this process.
This was sent to us by a participant in this webinar,
and I find it very clearly
demonstrating a variety of needs.
Is there technology that can assist?
Yeah, absolutely. But will
technology solve all the needs?
but we can come together and be barrier busters
and think of creative ways we can achieve our goals.
So let me take a moment here and just read
this slide so that everybody has
the opportunity to hear what was shared.
This person's shared.
"I'm working with students with moderate to
severe disabilities who often
need hand over hand assistance,
physical prompting, and supplies and
processes adapted in the moment.
My students either don't
have access to a computer or lack
the skills to work with one without an intermediary.
I am visually impaired and have
been finding it difficult to take classes,
let alone teach them.
Person to person, in my class I teach.
I can put people's work up close to
my face using my video magnifier,
Orman ocular is what the individual has,
or walk up close to students and see what they're doing.
Sometimes with the staff person's description.
All of these things are missing now,
and for the first time in my life,
I'm having a lot of adapting."
Again, I shared this just to help all of us to
realize that this is
a very individual by individual situation.
So one of the questions that was asked is,
why it is one key question educators should be
asking themselves about accessibility
as they transition to online learning?
The one question that I have posed is that,
if a barrier has been created,
oftentimes, there is a simple solution
for removing that barrier.
That question is, are there
barriers created that need to be removed?
We have resources that we can draw from.
We have the Internet that provides us
with great ideas and how?
We also have people that we can talk to.
I personally have a network of people that I
often go to for ideas and perspectives.
Do you have that network at your institution?
We're going to address many of
these barriers here in the next 30 minutes.
But some of the prominent barriers
that we need to take a look at is related to content,
peer-to-peer engagement, and assessment.
How can I coach offline professors
for the online environment?
That's a great question.
As I've been meeting with
institutions all over the world,
they have shared their experiences with me.
The reality is that many institutions still
have professors who do not use email,
and now they're expected to teach fully online courses.
The point being is that there's
a wide range of technology skills,
ability to adapt to change,
ability to learn new approaches quickly.
But the commonality here is, as professors,
we all have clear defined
goals for what we want to teach and achieve.
So start with a commonality,
then look for the tools that will enable
the individual professor to achieve those goals.
For example, we all need to communicate.
For some, a discussion board in
an LMS might be a great solution.
For others a web conference call,
much like what we're on,
might be the best option.
We all have a common need to present content.
We all have a common need to assess learning.
Now that we're moving to an online environment,
this might need to be broken down into
smaller assessments to be
able to really ensure that
student engagement is taking place.
But again, technology is the tool
that can be used to achieve the goal.
What are some of the best ways to incorporate
video into the online classroom?
What are some do's and don'ts for video lectures?
So when taking a look at this question,
if you don't already have established
access to a video platforms such as Panopto or Kaltura,
or one of the other video platforms.
One of the easiest ways to
incorporate video is to use YouTube.
Don't make it complicated.
Use your phone to record and upload a video
onto YouTube and share with the students.
Some of the do's and don'ts
that I like to emphasize is,
first of all, don't feel like it has
to be a Hollywood quality production.
Students really appreciate the realism
and appreciate the fact that
you're creating a video to share with them,
that using your phone,
just like they would.
Do make sure that the lighting is good
so that the eye contact can be made.
Have clear points with an outline or a script prepared.
Keep it short, less than 20 minutes,
and then I have to emphasize caption, caption, caption.
If you don't know this already,
85 percent of the videos viewed
on Facebook, were without sound.
If they weren't captioned,
those videos were then skipped.
We don't want your content skipped.
Captioning enables the students to engage.
Some of the ways that videos are being used is
to introduce or re-cap a content item.
It's a great way to engage the student when
they watch the video without re-cap,
then if there's gaps there,
then that puts the desire in them to go
back to that content and re-read it,
and re-engage with that content.
To provide engagement, and that
can be instructor to student,
student to instructor, or even the student to student.
Set up opportunities for there to be engagement.
Now that we're not sitting in a classroom
and having that face to face engagement.
The next question was,
what technology and platforms do you
recommend most in this transition period?
Well, to be really honest,
in this transition period,
first identified the technology
that you have available at your institution.
Do you have a learning management system?
Do you have a video platform?
What kind of web conferencing platform do you have?
Do you have like Zoom, like we're using here?
This might sound really basic,
but do you have a computer and a phone?
Those are some of the basic technologies,
and I don't mean to make it simplified,
but really during this transition period,
let's keep it as simple as possible
because we've got limited time to do training s,
both for the faculty and for the students.
We want to be able to use technology
that we already have in place, in house,
rather than having to go through
a procurement process that
bringing in very highly technical,
complicated type technology would require.
Next question is,
how can I make course materials accessible
to fit all students needs in the online environment?
One easy way is that
when you're searching for digital content
that can be used in the digital classroom,
in addition to making sure that's appropriate,
make sure that it's accessible.
So what does that mean?
If the item is a PDF, for example,
make sure that it's a formatted PDF,
and that's able to be read by a screen reader.
If there's images that you're using,
do they have ALT tags that can describe the image.
If it's a PowerPoint for example,
check the accessibility checker to make sure
all the components are in the right order.
If there's a video or audio, again,
you're going to hear me say caption, caption, caption.
So for example, if you
have a PDF and you are unsure if it's accessible,
which many people wouldn't know.
Ally, if you're not familiar with
Ally from Blackboard has just released
the File Transformer that enables
accessible alternative versions of
the original document to be created for free.
I'm going to copy a link
that I'm going to put in the chat
that provide you an article that's in Campus Technology.
It's not allowing me to copy this, there it goes.
This way we can actually go to this location
and there we go.
Sorry about that. This provides you
the opportunity to use technology
that's available and for free
to check content items and also create
alternative versions of that content item
that are more accessible.
In that article, there's a link to
the Ally File Transformer that can be used.
The next question, other than using
graphic videos and webinars,
what beginner's level animation software program
can be used to simulate
in-person experiences such as labs?
Unless you're a graphic designer
and have a lot of time on your hands
to create an animated simulation,
can really take a lot of time and expertise.
My recommendation is to check out
online education resources or OER.
They are typically free and provide the ability
to simulate lab type activities.
Here's a list of
OER type resources that was printed in Educause,
and here's another link in our chat.
So feel free to go in and look at
these different resources that
provide Online Education Resources.
Typically is free.
There's a lot of good material
out there that's been shared,
that enables you to be able to find labs, simulations,
to be able to find content items,
and then be able to check and make sure that
those items are accessible.
How can I continue to keep students
engaged as they now learn remotely?
What is the easiest way to get students to
engage with each other on discussion boards?
Great question. A few things
that I like to point out is
that engagement is critical for success.
We all know that. In the brick and mortar classroom,
students are forced to sit in the classroom.
Oftentimes, that's viewed as engagement, but it isn't.
This is one of the topics we started this webinar of,
and when we discuss how this transition may have
a significant impact to education,
hopefully this engagement will be one of them.
How do we design all interactions with
students in a way that foster the greatest engagement?
Are we providing clear learning path,
or are we dumping and expecting them to way through it?
Are there options as to how
students can engage with the content,
either print, video, audio?
Are there exercises that promote engagement?
For example, on a assignment that has
them write a one-minute reflective paper,
or maybe an interactive discussion among the students.
The next question that I ask is, Is it interesting?
Would you want to engage with us?
Ask the question, so what?
If I engage in this,
if I read this,
if I listen to this,
what should I expect to get out of it?
If I don't feel like I'm going to get anything out of it,
then as a student,
I'm not going to engage with it.
So ask the question, so what?
I love the Onion approach.
What the Onion approach is,
is that it's a layer by layer leading
discussions and engagement with deeper learning.
For example, with discussions.
Ask a very high level discussion question
that causes some initial discussions to take place.
As that discussion starts to taper off,
ask another leading question
that's at the next level that you want them to process.
Keep peeling that layer of the onion,
layer by layer, until you are able to get to the core.
By that time you get to the core,
the student has discussed and gone through
the different areas within that topic.
It really stimulates them to have more of a discussion
rather than just give me a question and an answer.
But it really stimulates that kind of discussion.
I call it the Onion approach.
Next question. How can we help
students who must now tests at home,
but otherwise would have
had distraction-reduced testing locations?
This is a great question and there's
a couple of articles that I'm going
to post links to in the chat for this also.
This really addresses a critical skill
that all students must learn for life.
As a student and as an employee,
I had to learn how to create
environments where I can succeed.
I oftentimes will put on my noise
canceling headphones for example on,
and play soft music in the background.
It calms me, removes distractions.
We need to find what works best for the individual.
So here are a couple of articles
that help to promote that.
There you go. Take a look at the next question.
How can I support students who are
currently struggling right now?
Well, the first question is to
identify what the struggle is.
Overall coping with the COVID-19 situation, well,
there's many schools that have brought in therapists,
coaches, and counselors to be able to work with students.
Is the student trying to be self-directed and disciplined
and engaging with class now
that you no longer meet face to face?
If that's the situation,
maybe as an instructor,
you're going to provide a 10 minute phone check-in,
two or three times a week with that student.
Help that student to stay motivated knowing
that they're going to have to have a call with you,
to check to make sure that they're staying up
on all of their activities.
Maybe the student is having
a challenge with comprehension of content.
A great way that I like to
structure my class is to have peer-to-peer mentoring,
by pairing the students up in the class.
Allow them to keep each other
accountable as to where they need to be,
and also provide that opportunity for
them to have those discussions peer-to-peer,
so that they're engaging
and staying in touch with classmates.
Here's another foundational question
that is often asked, and that's,
how are universities funding these large-scale moves
to online in terms of captioning
and other accessibility needs?
With the institutions that I've talked with,
most of them have said that they're pulling
dollars from other areas that are cost savings,
now that they don't have as much of
the physical campus to maintain and support.
They're also pulling from contingency,
or emergency funds in order to be able to meet
the needs of this urgent crisis.
Other institutions have mentioned that there are just
basically aligning their budgets
with the reality of today.
Much like we have to do when
situations change in our personal lives.
We have to rearrange our budget.
That's what institutions are doing.
But they're realizing that it just needs to be done,
because they want to ensure
that students are going to stay engaged.
This question was asked,
for students on the spectrum,
what accommodation ideas do you have when they
struggle with understanding the written word
and are used to interacting with the professor,
and asking lots of questions for
clarification of concepts and assignments?
Great question. First and foremost,
and this is true for all situations, ask the student.
They have to navigate their learning on a daily basis,
and they are the best resource.
But again, look at options such as video and audio,
peer learning, one-on-one sessions with
the student to help to be able to clarify.
Well, this 30 minutes has gone by very quickly,
and I know that there are more questions.
I have a few more questions that I wasn't able to get to,
but I want to respect your time.
Let's take one question that was asked live.
Danielle, could you share with us
one question that was asked live?
Sure, Scott. I'm going through this now and let's see.
We encourage you also to submit your questions
now if you have any additional others.
Some quick questions though,
just from a tactical standpoint
that I just want to address this,
that we absolutely will be sharing
this presentation with everyone afterwards,
as well as the slides.
If we don't get to answer your questions live,
we're sending out a follow-up as well,
and all of the links that Scott is sharing,
we will also share those with you after this as well.
Let's see. I think
we should keep going through because I
think some of the questions that are being submitted,
I think we had addressed before also, Scott.
So I think lets keep going through,
and we'll just keep giving people
the opportunity to submit your questions live.
So the next question that was asked was,
how do we convey the benefits of improving
accessibility to faculty and administration?
I love this question.
My strategy is to do two things.
First of all, talk about the
familiar to bridge to the unfamiliar.
What do I mean by that?
I start by talking about buildings with stairs and ramps.
Everybody's familiar with buildings
that have stairs and ramps.
Then we talk about how that ramp was originally put in,
in order for individuals who use
wheelchairs to be able to gain access to that building.
But we've all pushed rollers or pulled
luggage or carts up a ramp in order to enter a building.
So it'd be very difficult if we had to
always lift those items up the stairs.
So again, starting with the
familiar and bridging to the unfamiliar.
The other area that I always like to
touch on is around curb cuts.
All the technology that's been developed that
originally was for an accommodation that we use,
such as the electric toothbrush.
Did you know that?
The electric toothbrush was originally
developed as an accommodation.
We have Siri on our phone,
Alexa in our homes.
We have self-opening doors.
All of those things were originally an accommodation
that now we all take advantage of.
The second thing is that I share
how our goals are all the same.
We all have the same goal,
and that is for greater student success.
This is for all students,
not just that one exception
that we're having to address with accessibility.
So for example, a student is able to
highlight a PDF because it's in an accessible format.
Yes, it's also accessible,
but all students are able to better engage with this PDF.
A student is able to watch a class video
with closed captioning while they're commuting.
Yes, it addresses the needs
of the student that might be deaf or hard of hearing,
but all students are able to better engage with that.
Then finally, how does
Verbit help to power the remote learning process?
Well, all video and audio content,
and if you haven't picked up on this line already,
needs to be captioned and transcribed.
So research is already proven that there's
greater comprehension and
engagement that takes place when
students are able to engage in a multimodal approach.
When conducting a LiveWeb,
conferences such as this one that we're in,
you have the ability to read along.
The same is true for students when they are
participating in a live classroom situations.
Also, we're working with
institutions all across the world,
and we're here to share that exposure and
experience with each of you in your institutions.
So please, let us know how we can help.
How can we support you
during this time that you're making that transition?
We're here to be able to provide you
the technology and the ability
to provide greater engagement
with closed captioning and transcription.
So with that, let me ask one more time,
Danielle, were there
any final questions that came through?
Of course. So we had a question from Charles about,
what is the best programmer app to use
when using Zoom and wanting closed captioning for videos?
So Scott just got into this now,
but I think we'd love to stress that Verbit
has a new integration that we
just recently launched with Zoom,
and we're working with a lot of universities now
to implement this both in courses and lectures
that they're hosting, as well as just to help
power meetings between professors as well.
I know Scott you've been working
with a lot of universities to help implement this,
if you just wanted to touch on that.
Then followed by some best practices in terms of YouTube,
someone was asking if we have
any insights there in terms of, with YouTube,
is this the best way to have a PowerPoint up on video?
Is there any best practices or step-by-step in
creating types of videos
that a university would share via YouTube?
So the first question, yes,
we are working with many institutions that are providing
live sessions through Zoom
and we are able to join that session.
As with this session,
you can click on the CC button
and see the closed captioning,
or you can click on the View Live transcript
and be able to see a full transcript on the slide.
As I've been saying, the live transcript is
a great example of a benefit that all of us can use.
It allows us to be able to recap,
it allows us to come back
from distractions such as a text on our phone,
and catch up with what's being said.
First of all, let me go back.
If you have that need,
please feel free to reach out to us,
we'll be more than glad to give you a demo of
how it works in addition to
what you're seeing here in this session,
and talk to you more about how that might be
a benefit to what's taking place at your institution.
Now regarding the YouTube,
what I have found with YouTube is really that,
that platform is really good for just sharing
the short videos that I would send out
to my students just to re-engage.
Just to give them information to encourage students to
communicate and have that engagement among each other.
When I'm going to show a PowerPoint or
something a little more in
depth and wanting the students to engage that way,
then typically I'll rely more on my video platforms
such as Kaltura, Collaborate,
the Panopto, YuJa, whatever
that platform is that you might have at your institution,
to be able to really have
a better video experience for the students,
now that you're wanting to share a PowerPoint or
some other images that
convey the content that you're teaching.
Danielle, anything else that's pressing?
I know that we are eight minutes over,
so I just want do extensively.
We'll pick one more,
because actually a bunch of people
have been writing and asking about
Verbit accuracy versus like print functionality that
might exist within Zoom in terms of closed captioning,
adhering to the ADA compliance and guidelines.
If you could just quickly touch on
accuracy in that sense,
I think that's definitely of interest to everyone.
Excellent. I'm glad you asked.
In our process, we have a hybrid process that takes
the automatic speech recognition technology,
but it doesn't end with that.
Most of the platforms that have
any kind of an automatic captioning,
ends with just the technology.
The accuracy that you get from
their technology typically is in the '70s.
We've all experienced the YouTube automatic captioning
and some of the atrociousness that results from that.
What we do in
our hybrid approach is that after we use our technology,
then we have actually
four human beings that are on a live session.
Three that are doing any kind of
editing from the live technology,
and then our fourth person is focused on punctuation.
This really enables the person that's reading
the transcript or the closed captions to really
see an accurate depiction
of what's being said because we're using
both the technology and human transcriber editors
that are providing that level of accuracy.
Guys, that was a quick 30 minutes.
I hope that you were able to take away a few nuggets
of information from this,
and thank you again for joining.
As Danielle said, we will have
this information available for you after this webinar,
and including all the links that I've shared here today.
Danielle, anything else? I'm wrapping up.
Absolutely. Thank you so much Scott for your time.
Thank you everyone for joining live.
As Scott mentioned, we will absolutely be
following up with all of those resources.
We've been doing a lot more of these webinars,
so we definitely encourage you to keep in touch with us.
If there are specific topics that we
haven't addressed that you're
really interested in hearing about,
we'd love to hear from you on how we can
continue to grow this community and really improve.
So please, feel free to reach out to us with
any suggested topics or
just questions that you might be having,
we're really happy to address them.
So thank you Scott, and thank you everyone for coming.
Thank you. Bye.