Interact-AS – What Is it? See Interact-AS in action! 12 min
Read the short article: Classroom Captioning: Interact-AS is Making a Difference in Listening Comprehension
The Interact-AS Professional Edition for Educators is software that you load onto a PC computer – desktop, laptop or qualified media tablet.
The person speaking wears a boom microphone and his/her voice is transmitted to the PC where it is translated into text that appears in about one second on the PC screen. For the necessary accuracy, the microphone needs to be within 1-2 inches of the speaker’s mouth. Teachers who speak clearly and pause naturally will have the highest captioning accuracy.
What kind of computer system is needed?
Interact-AS runs on PC laptops or desktops that have at least 4GB of RAM, an Intel i5 or faster processor, 2GB of available disk space an open USB port, and Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 operating system. Some of the new media tablets may also meet the requirements above and are able to run the Interact-AS software (i.e., Asus Taichi; Microsoft Surface Pro). Interact-AS will not run on an iPad due to the processing needs of the software. See Computer Requirements and Set-Up for more information.
What about a trial period so we can see if Interact-AS will really benefit the student?
The full version of Interact-AS is not returnable. A 30-day trial version of the software is available for $99 with a Professional Classroom Microphone System pictured below that is returnable at no cost within 45 days of receipt. For more information on this Trial Program click here.
In the 30 days it is recommended that the student work with the teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing and or speech language pathologist to gather information on how well the child can understand information presented verbally when just listening/ listening with speech reading/ listening with Interact-AS support.
During the trial period the classroom teacher(s) can become familiar with how the system operates. All involved staff can learn how to access the transcripts for use in 1:1 work with the student, to support student homework, or even to have available for teacher planning or when other students are absent.
Finally, the student can be fully involved in how the system works as well as understanding his/her responsibility for care and daily management. It can be expected that the student will increase the use of speech-to-text translation with experience as s/he is likely to be unaccustomed to glancing down and accessing text if s/he is unsure of what was just said. Therefore, staff should plan on working with the student in using the Interact-AS repeatedly, with various types of information and comprehension tasks over the course of the trial period.
If the school district decides to purchase Interact-AS, then the cost of the trial with the software is reduced to $50 and the Professional Classroom Microphone System could then be owned by the district (go here for details) for $349.00 with no further charge to the school credit card. The cost of a Professional Edition license of the Interact-AS software is $764.95.
If a school decides to purchase the Interact-AS, what will it get?
- Interact-AS Professional Edition for Educators software (private license that the school will own) will come as a DVD containing an unlimited use permanent license for a single computer
- A Quick Start Guide to get you Interacting right away
- One year of unlimited technical support and free upgrades
What else will the school have to provide for a student to use the Interact-AS?
1) COMPUTER: Students that travel between classes will each need to have the software loaded onto a PC laptop or a media device that meets the criteria for running the software. This is the most typical use of the Interact-AS accommodation.
If there are multiple students in one class, typically for all day, and the classroom teacher has a PC (desktop or laptop) running on her desk, then the student(s) could use an iPad or other media tablet with an app to receive the captioning (requires internet connection). It is also possible to have the captioning viewable on a separate screen for all students in the classroom to access.
2) DETAILS ON SELECTING THE RIGHT COMPUTER:
Go here for a complete list of what is required for computer set-up.
3) MICROPHONE INPUT CONSIDERATIONS
A wireless headset microphone with a boom microphone MUST be used with the Interact-AS so the teacher can move around the classroom. The boom mic should be no further than 1″ to 2″ from the teacher’s mouth.
There are 3 microphone choices:
a) For trial periods it is STRONGLY recommended that the Professional Classroom Microphone System be used as part of the $99 Trial Program for all 30-day trials of Interact-AS because of ease of use and the highest accuracy of captioning. If during this trial the district would like to try using the student’s personal FM transmitter as a source of input this could occur for comparison purposes.
b) If the student has a personal FM system then the FM microphone/transmitter can be used ONLY if there is a boom microphone (i.e., Phonak Inspiro or Oticon Amigo T30 transmitter) BUT the PC that is on the student’s desk must have an appropriate dedicated FM receiver (i.e., Phonak MyLink+ or Oticon Amigo Arc) so it will be able to receive the teacher’s voice for translation. So the district will be providing 2 FM receivers for the student. The USB Digitizer cable will be needed for the FM receiver to plug into the student’s laptop computer.The student would always need to have the USB cable plugged into the same USB port. The USB cable must be plugged in before starting Interact-AS.
c) If the classroom teacher is already using a boom microphone with a SmartBoard classroom audio distribution system, it is possible to integrate the Interact-AS using a screen sharing app although a separate computer monitor may be necessary so only the text translation will display on the SmartBoard.
4) OTHER OPTIONS: The Interact-AS software is a permanent license that the district will own. Software upgrades (years 2-5) are not included but can be purchased any time in the first five years from purchase. Software maintenance with technical support is also an extra cost after the first year. Purchase is not mandatory, but IS recommended if the school district plans on using the Interact-AS to support student learning for a number of years.
What if we need help with Interact-AS – who provides support?
Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss provides support for school districts, especially during the consideration process and trial period. Contact Mike Massine for any specific questions about how Interact-AS can be used to meet the needs of a specific student. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-909-1070 (Mountain Time Zone).
Additional support for the Interact-AS Professional Edition for Educators software is available from Auditory Sciences, LLC, 3454 Circle Bluff Court, Faribault, MN 55021 www.auditorysciences.com
Support: Telephone: +1-507-664-9123, Option 2 E-mail: email@example.com
Is there anything else that Interact-AS will do besides speech-to-text translation?
- Use the Visualize tab to show pictures, video clips or maps.
- Use the sketch pad where you can draw and discuss ideas.
- Select the gender of the voice output you want to use.
- Save a transcript of the conversation or lesson for later reference.
- Add your own unique terms (vocabulary, acronyms) to the database.
- Create multiple user profiles.
- Accessible built-in Help menu at your fingertips
Also language translation! With purchase of one the remote language module the teacher/school can also use Interact-AS for bi-directional communication when communicating with families who do not speak English. Picture being at an IEP meeting or school conference with a family that does not speak English. Whatever you say would be translated into their language and shown on the laptop that has the Interact-AS software. When the family member speaks, his or her speech would be translated into English.
Using the Document module you can also dictate a note to go home by talking into the microphone, translate it into the family’s language, and print out from the text file of the translation.
Questions about Interact-AS? Contact Mike Massine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-963-8991.