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On 1st February, Zoom enabled Live Transcription, and Australian storage for Public Cloud Recordings for all AARNet customers.
The addition of these new features creates exciting opportunities for enhancing digital learning and improving accessibility, while ensuring all Zoom recordings can be stored and archived in Australia.
AARNet customers can activate Live Transcriptions at any time for all Licensed users on Zoom’s hosted environment. The transcription, which translates English to text in real time, appears in the Zoom client as a closed caption. Once activated by the host, the live transcription is available to all attendees in the meeting. It can be used independently of recordings, and attendees can customise their own settings to adjust the font and size, or to hide or view the scrolling caption, or to review the full transcript in a side bar. It could even be used by those with hearing impairments to follow along on campus whilst in a meeting or hybrid learning setting.
At this point in time, Live Transcription does not work in Zoom breakout rooms, but does work with both meetings and webinars, and is a great and very cost-effective way to improve accessibility for community-facing events and large ‘all staff’ gatherings. Early experience suggests transcript accuracy is in excess of 90%, although this is dependent on the quality of the audio, voice accents, and the duration of speech – with its artificial intelligence engine improving the transcript on the fly for each speaker. The option also remains to use a paid closed captioning service for 100% accuracy if needed. Live Transcripts can be saved with recordings and helps with both accessibility of information and the retention of knowledge.
Australian Sovereignty option for all Zoom Cloud Recordings
Up until 2021, the only methods for storing Zoom recordings in Australia available to research and education customers of AARNet were using AARNet’s own hosting with its tight integration to CloudStor, or recording locally on your own device. In response to feedback from AARNet and other non-US customers around the world, at the end of January Zoom switched on a feature that enables Zoom administrators to select the region of the world where all their future cloud recordings are to be kept. This includes Australia.
The feature allows customers, who use Zoom’s cloud, to access hosting that is compatible with third party integrations such as Panopto, Echo360 or Kaltura. Once activated, customers can be assured of Australian sovereignty of their cloud recordings as both first created and retained in Zoom, as well as while in transit to these longer-term content distribution platforms.
Customers choosing to retain content on Zoom can share video recordings directly with such features such as editable transcriptions, top and tail publishing, and registration to access. With up to 8000 recordings of teaching sessions per day saved to the AARNet CloudStor platform, it’s terrific news to now offer the same in-country confidence for our customer recordings made in Zoom’s own Australian data centres.
At our February AARNet Zoom brunch n learn forum, AARNet briefed Zoom admins across the Australian education sector on how to enable these features, their capabilities, and limitations. It’s pleasing to see Zoom continue to innovate and provide sector-leading features for synchronous online learning whilst AARNet continues to advocate for new features on behalf of all our Zoom customers.
AARNet Zoom advisors are here to help your team plan and adopt any of these features or advise on best practices, licensing optimisation, configuration options, and common Zoom integrations. Please contact us if you need help or for more information.
Author: Geoff Lambert, Zoom Customer Advisor, AARNet