When most people think about speech recognition, they think about personal assistant applications like Siri or Alexa. But as speech technology becomes cheaper and faster, we're seeing more and more use cases in domains and industries where speech-to-text tools haven't been used much in the past.
In this post, we're going to discuss seven of the most common use cases of speech recognition for learning and education, as well as who can benefit most from this technology. But to start, let's clarify what speech recognition in learning is.
What is Speech Recognition for Learning?
In short, any use of speech-to-text for education is an example of speech recognition in learning. As will see below, this can refer to different things, but at their core, they all involve turning the spoken interactions that happen in the classroom into transcribed text. But beyond that, there are a lot of different ways that these transcriptions can be used.
7 Top Use Cases for Speech Technology in Education
Let's take a look at the top 7 use cases for speech-to-text in education, including how they can benefit students and teachers alike.
1. Classroom Transcripts
Speech recognition can be used to create transcripts of lectures and classroom discussions. We've previously talked about the benefits of classroom captions, and even built a project to showcase the technology, but in short, transcripts are especially useful for students who are hard of hearing or have difficulty taking notes, as well as non-native speakers who might not understand every word of a lecture. Transcripts let these students refer to lecture content after the fact to help them master the material.
2. Study Aids
Creating materials for study and test prep is another domain where speech recognition can help. For example, there are apps that can create flashcards based on a student's lecture notes-or, even better, a transcript of a lecture. And even if you don't make flashcards automatically, having the transcription of what was said can make it much easier to prep study materials manually, as well as search to find specific terms or things that weren't understood during the lecture.
3. Video Subtitles & Captioning
Speech recognition can also be used to create subtitles for educational videos. This is helpful for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It can also be helpful for students who speak English as a second language. These subtitles can also be used as closed captions on live videos. With hybrid class environments, this can be a boon for anyone who is attending remotely, as they might not be able to hear what was said in the class well. For example, Habitat Learn offers a service like this, providing real-time transcripts of classes. If you want to learn more about the work that Habitat Learn is doing, check out our upcoming webinar with them!
4. Research Projects
Some research projects require students to transcribe interviews or speeches. Speech recognition can be used to make this task easier. This can have impacts beyond the classroom as well, helping researchers to better understand data they glean from interviews, by giving them access to a searchable database of all of their interviews, without having to spend time manually transcribing them.
5. Pronunciation Assessments
Speech recognition can be used to help students learn languages. For example, there are applications that allow students to practice their pronunciation by speaking into the app. Automatic speech recognition can be used to assess a student's pronunciation skills. This is valuable for language learners who need to practice their speaking skills, or want to check how well they're pronouncing certain words or phrases.