Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Comparison of Automatic Captioning in Various Streaming/Recordings Solutions we Presently Have at SBU

The first demo is inside of Google Meet.  While we are a Google Apps campus, the fact that we can record right now freely inside of Google Meet is actually a feature that Google turned on during COVID-19, and not something that normally is included.

Google Meet does have a live captioning feature (run by computers) that comes with Meet.  However, as you can see in the screen shot below and compared to the recording, not only does it not give you any documentation of that live captioning afterwards, in the form of a transcript or regular closed captioning, it even disappears from the recording as well.  (How rude!)

screen shot of live Google Meet session

Recording from Google Meet

screen shot from recording of same meeting:

screen shot of google meet recording

Now in Zoom.

Screen Shot:

screen shot from live re

To get the live captions, I shared my screen with Google Slides and turned on live captioning.  This also does not produce a transcript at the end, BUT the live captions are captured in the recording, unlike Google Meet.  On the other hand, because I recorded to the Cloud in Zoom, an entirely new ASR caption file is created after the recording is done being processed.

Here is a screen shot showing both the live captions and the new post process created captions at once:

live captions and post processed captions shown together in screen shot

Here is the actual Zoom recording**: Passcode: 8?Lq4Jrj

And last but not least, a recording with echo360.  This time the slide that I throw up to get live captioning leaves google out entirely.  This one I use MS Powerpoint for the live captioning.  This would have behaved the same way in Zoom.

One of the nice things about echo360 is that the viewers can decide how big some of the components are (using the Source pull down option), so it is possible to give those automatic captions a bit more window real estate for easier visibility.

Keep in mind, that the automatic captions in a recording are visibly seen, as I showed in Zoom and echo360, but are not screen readable.  The post processed captions or transcripts are screen readable.  On the other hand,  the Google Meet recording does not show them at all in the recording and has no post process ASR capability built in.

Final break down:

Google Meet Zoom Echo360
live captions Yes Yes* Yes*
live captions visible in recording No Yes Yes
streams live Yes Yes Yes
records For now Yes Yes
ASR post process No Yes when recorded to cloud Yes if turned on
*If used with another application such as Google Slides or MS Powerpoint and the screen is being shared


**  Don’t be hating on my COVID-19 pants!

SUNY Virtual Symposium on Adaptive Learning


Someone wrote me and asked what Adaptive Learning was.  Her is my quick answer:

“The idea of Adaptive Learning, is that there is a program monitoring the understanding/progress of the student, that can shift what their next course of action is (a reading, or quizzing, etc) based on performance.  So it has built in remediation, and possibly acceleration, depending on the actual platform.  Some of them are made by for profit publishers, and some work largely with open educational resources and funding from grants. They make an interesting case [as a tool] for helping students meet course objectives in a remote environment.”


I had issues using zoom… here is my story

Around two years ago, we started doing an exploration of different web conferencing solutions. As part of that, I had a free testing account with zoom. After some time, I had made my mind up on which platform I wanted to recommend, and stopped testing. Time passed and we didn’t immediately switch to the new platform. My account expired with zoom.

Then come the Covid situation and suddenly we are standing zoom up on campus in 24 hours, and for most people it was working great. For me, not so much. If I went to I got an error when trying to login with single sign in. If I went to the LTI link in Blackboard, there was mixed results depending on if we tried deleting my account and sending a new invite to the system. I tried incognito windows and different computers/browsers. Nothing worked.

Then finally, I went to and tried to open my old test account directly. I didn’t remember the password, and sent off a “forgot password” request. Set the new password, logged in and saw that I could change my email. That seemed hopeful. (In fact I had been telling faculty before we stood zoom up, that if they wanted to become familiar with zoom, go ahead and get a free account, but don’t use your email.) When I changed the email, they sent an email to the account that I had to click to actually make the switch.

After I clicked in that email… the SSO issues finally went away and I could use my zoom account.

So – maybe this struggle is real for others. Hopefully someone else can learn from my issues.

Using more than one semester’s echos in your current course?

When you create the LTI link inside of Blackboard using the Build Content -> echo cloud link, this hooks your course to one semester’s set of recordings.  If you need to connect to more content from a previous semester, you can either go to your library, and add individual recordings to the current semester: (see below for second option)

log into and go My Content to find the recordings you want to share.

when you hover over a recording with your cursor, you see three dots, click that and go to Share

Pick the current course and term and section that you are going to send this content to.


Select New Class , give it a name, optionally give it a date, and click Share.


or you can make a access link from the previous semester and add that to your current course:

Log into and find the course you want to share in it’s entirety to the current semester.

Click on the older course, and then find the SETTINGS tab at the top. Click that.

Click on Access Links.  It will probably say there are no links.  Click on ADD LINK.

Select Public and then click and share the link as given. Put this into your current Blackboard course as desired.


Providing a Google Web Conferencing Solution that Includes Phone Support [cross post from the Academic Technology Services blog]

The web conferencing solution given here will work from the Google Apps that you are already familiar with.  We will start in the Calendar App.

Create a new Event.

Give it a name.

click on Add rooms, Location or conferencing

Then click on “Add conferencing”

This will immediately give you a Join Hangouts Meet link and the URL is seen below that link.

Use the chevron to it’s left to see more information

Now… you can see a phone number and meeting room PIN that you can also provide to your class. (Do not use the number or URL shown above. Use your own.)

Rather than try to invite your whole class under Add Guests… take this information and get it to your student via Blackboard or email. Just provide them with the URL, phone number, date and time.

Google Hangouts Meet will handle up to 250 participants in a single room.

You can record too as of 3/10/20.  

that is found under the …  in the lower right part of the screen.


Creating new sections in Echo360

You may want to need to create a new section in Echo360 if you have need to store videos and/or power points for a course, but have not used Echo360 so far this semester.


To create a new section in Echo360, we will want to login to Blackboard, go to the course area that you want your link with Echo360 to appear (typically some content folder) and “Build Content” -> “Echo Cloud”.

Now give the link a name. This may be something like “Course Videos”, “Video Lectures”, etc.

Click “Submit”.

You now click on that link you just made.

Connect your Echo360 Content

Select the Term, Select your Course, and then select “Create a New Section”.

Enter the Section Number in the form 01, 02 etc.

Description is optional

Click Save

Now Click the lighter blue button that says “Link Content”

You can now begin to upload content to your course for this section by clicking New Class.  A Class is going to be the day that you want the students to view the content. You select the date first and then after that Class is created you can upload associated content by click on the plus sign in that row. Content can be videos, or powerpoint type presentations.


New Live Streaming Attendance Feature

[Note: this is a cross post from the Academic Technology Services blog.]

This new feature is available for those instructors who have live streaming turned on inside of Echo360.  It will show, as seen below, who is logged into the live stream, as well as log this information (and the total connection time) for your use in calculating attendance.

If this feature makes a difference in your decision on whether you want to turn on live streaming, please contact us at to make any changes to your capture schedule.