In an increasingly multicultural Australia, the ability of teachers to communicate effectively with all their students – from diverse backgrounds and with varied learning needs – has never been more crucial. This is particularly important as schools increasingly ramp up inclusive spaces where no child is left behind due to linguistic, auditory, or cognitive challenges.
Since its inception in 1984, Oncall – now a global provider of high-quality language service solutions – has been leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence to further expand its range of products and services.
One of them is CaptionConnect, an automatic captioning and transcription software using AI, that was introduced to the Australian K-12 education sector in 2019. At the heart of the platform is a comprehensive suite of applications designed to transform spoken language into a visual, and more universally accessible, medium.
Mustafa Hulusi, Chief Executive Officer of Oncall Language Services (Oncall) is a key driver behind the company’s push to move beyond its traditions of community interpreting and translations into an innovative tech-driven organisation. He says CaptionConnect has been a “game changer” for schools.
“Teachers have reported its transformative impact, particularly on students with hearing or learning challenges. It has provided equal access to class content, fostering active participation and boosting confidence,” Hulusi told The Educator.
“The software has not only improved comprehension but also empowered students, creating an inclusive learning environment that celebrates diversity.”
Recognising that not all schools have an easy time onboarding technology, let alone engaging their less tech savvy students, CaptionConnect has been working closely with both State and Independent schools to address this challenge over the past four years.
“Its intuitive interface and seamless integration with existing technologies make it easy to adopt. Oncall provides comprehensive training and support, ensuring that even those who aren’t tech-savvy can comfortably use the software,” he said.
“Easy access to the software that does not require installation of applications and can be integrated with existing school credentials, while maintaining enterprise level security that complies with Australian government regulations. CaptionConnect streamlines the onboarding process, making it easy to implement and access for all users.”
Hulusi said one uplifting testament of CaptionConnect’s transformative power can be seen in the story of Caroline, a student at Swifts Creek P-12 School, where Caroline’s mother, Halina, was her AUSLAN interpreter due to the school’s remote location.
“The introduction of CaptionConnect was life changing for both of them,” Hulusi said. “It allowed Caroline to follow along in her classes independently and use the transcript as a study resource, easing the burden on her mother and empowering Caroline.”
Not only did Caroline complete her VCE studies – she excelled.
“Caroline went on to achieve an ATAR of 84.90 and being awarded DUX of the school.”
Looking ahead, Hulusi said CaptionConnect is committed to continually enhancing its offerings to meet the ever-evolving needs of Australia’s schools.
“Future developments include integration with school timetables and learning management systems, text-to-speech capabilities, expanded language support, and live translation for EAL students,” he said.
“These advancements aim to streamline accessibility processes, provide inclusive access to online content, and support students with visual impairments or reading difficulties. Through innovation, we aim to ensure equal access to education for all students.”