Webinar Series: CaptionSync Smart Player Overview

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 this webinar Kevin Erler and Art Morgan discuss the CaptionSync Smart Player with interactive transcript which has features to accommodate learners of all different backgrounds and learning styles. The objective is to understand the smart video player from the point of view of the user. 


Video Transcript

>>Kevin Erler: Hello, and welcome to the CaptionSync webinar series. My name is Kevin Erler and I’ll be presenting today with Art Morgan. This session is an overview of the CaptionSync Smart Player. The objectives for this session are that we would like to show you what the CaptionSync Smart Player is, and how it works with videos and captions. We’d then like you to understand what the various features are for the player from the perspective of the video viewer. And finally, we’d like to look at this from the perspective of the video producer, and show you how to add Smart Player links for your own videos.

Let’s start by taking a look at what the CaptionSync Smart Player is. At its core it’s an accessible video player. It adds the interactive transcript functionality that you may already be used to from your YouTube account. It’s much more than just an interactive transcript player however, it allows viewers to benefit from the caption data to easily navigate and search the video, look up terms in the video, and clip and share portions of the video.

There are a couple of prerequisites to using this CaptionSync Smart Player. First of all, the content must be available on a public URL. There’s a wide range of public URL’s that are supported. It can be a YouTube link, it can be a direct link to a media file on a website, a Vimeo link. We can also support Kaltura videos, as well as Brightcove links. The second prerequisite is that in order to take advantage of the Smart Player you have to have captioned your video through CaptionSync. There are no additional costs to using this CaptionSync Smart Player. All that you have to do is caption your files or your videos through CaptionSync and you’re good to go. Let’s take a quick peek at how the CaptionSync Smart Player works. The video is streamed from its original source. We do not make a local copy which is why you need to provide us with a URL to the video to begin with. This is really important, because it allows you to caption and to play content in the Smart Player that you do not own or otherwise have a copy of. The Smart Player then puts a frame around the streaming video and pulls the caption data directly from your CaptionSync account. It superimposes the captions on the video stream, and displays the interactive transcript to the side of the video. In addition, it uses the caption data to provide a number of other additional useful features that we’ll see in just a moment.

We’re going to give you a demonstration of the CaptionSync Smart Player in just a second, but before we do that I’d like to just show you a couple of things to keep an eye open for. So, here’s a picture of the Smart Player in action, and the first thing to watch for is traditional captions that are superimposed on the bottom of the video, just like you would be normally seeing in any accessible captioned video. The interactive transcript up here is to the right.In an interactive transcript, the transcript is highlighted and synchronized with the video play back. You can click on any word in the transcript and the video will automatically scrub forward to that part. Likewise, you can scrub around in the video on the left hand side, and the transcript will scrub with it. You have the ability to search the transcript for any phrase or word so that you can go right to that part of the video, and your search results will be shown on the video timeline as well as in the interactive transcript. You can also look up any phrase or word in the transcript. You can look it up in a dictionary, or you can look it up in Wikipedia,allowing learners to get instant access to supporting data about the terminology in the video. And finally, you can clip and share any portion of this video, and post that to Facebook, Twitter, or directly mail a URL to your colleagues. Okay, with that Art is going to take over now and give you a demonstration of the Smart Player. Keep an eye open for the features that I just showed you.

>> Art Morgan: Thanks Kevin. Okay, let’s take a look at the CaptionSync Smart Player from a learner’s perspective. So, I’ve got an example here, and if I hit play the video starts playing in the video pane on the left and it has the captions overlaid which you can toggle on and off. You can also use keyboard controls to fast forward the video, rewind it, mute, unmute, that sort of thing. I’m going to pause the video for a second, and then show you some features in the transcript pane on the right here.

Alright, so let’s say I’m studying for a test and one of the things I know I need to know about is dopamine, so I’ll search for dopamine, and it highlights where the keyword occurs both on the timeline and over here in the transcript. So, perhaps I want to review that section, and I want to start a little bit before the word dopamine is mentioned, so I can click on that portion of the video, and it will start playing that from that point. Let’s say, additionally, I want to look up a word – the definition of a word, and I want to look up serotonin. So, I can change the on tap click function here to show definition from dictionary, then select the word serotonin, and it looks it up.

Alright, let me now review the buttons at the bottom of the video player here for a second. We have a Help button which opens up a Help page which has keyboard controls and other useful features. We have an Embed button. That’s mainly for instructors, so I won’t cover that here. That is covered in a separate video. We have a clip and share feature which is kind of useful for learners in some cases. What that allows you to do is to highlight a portion of the video, and let’s say I want to highlight just one portion and share it with my classmates, so I can do that. Click generate URL and it gives me a link that I can send to my classmates. I can also hide the transcript pane all together, or position it on the right or below, and incidentally on small screens it always -the transcript pane always shows below so that it’s easier to use on tablets and mobile devices.

So you can see that the Smart Player is a lot more than just checking off a box that your videos are captioned, and accessible. It really adds a lot of benefits from the pedagogical standpoint. It’s consistent with universal design for learning principles, and then it provides a secondary representation of the content. It also provides additional ways for learners to engage with the content in very non-linear ways that you don’t get with traditional video. So, with that brief overview from the learner’s perspective, I’ll hand it back to Kevin for some final comments on the Smart Player.

>> Kevin Erler: Okay, thank you very much Art. Now that you have seen the powerful features of the Smart Player from the perspective of the viewers of your video, let’s take a quick look at how you can generate Smart Player links for your own videos. This is a very simple process that can be essentially boiled down to just two steps. The process is completed from your CaptionSync account, so start by logging in to your CaptionSync account. Then, collect up the URL’s for the videos that you want to caption and present in the Smart Player. Navigate to the “Create New List of URL’s” page on your CaptionSync account, and then enter the URL’s here and submit the list for captioning. If you have your CaptionSync account already configured for direct integration to your YouTube, Kaltura, or Brightcove accounts, you can also use those methods to submit content from those accounts for captioning. Step two is to wait until the captions are complete, and then go back in to your CaptionSync account and go to the “Status of Existing Lists” page. There, you can select a list of interest and you’ll see a status page that looks something like this image here. Each video in the list that was successfully captioned will have a “Generate Smart Player” link right here. Go ahead and click this link to create a Smart Player URL, and that’s it. Once you have that link you can visit the link to play back your video.

One powerful feature of the Smart Player is the ability to take that and embed the player right in to your own webpage. Once the Smart Player link has been generated, you can visit it to generate the embed code which is just a simple snippet of iframe code that you can drop right in to your own webpage and make the Smart Player appear right on your own page. This feature is useful for embedding the Smart Player right in to your LMS pages. That’s a topic we’ll cover in more detail in a separate webinar session. One other key feature of the Smart Player is the ability to enable you to caption other people’s YouTube videos. If you’ve ever had the need to present somebody else’s YouTube video and make it accessible, you’ll know that this can be quite a challenge, but the Smart Player makes it easy. Again, we’ll delve in to that in more detail in a separate webinar session. Finally, there’s a link here at the bottom of the page that will give you access to the detailed Smart Player tutorial in our Support Center. There’s a lot more information on the Smart Player available there. That’s it for this session. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for attending this session.