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Otter.ai brings transcription to Google Meet

Mon Mar 15, 2021 at 11:43 AM

We love helpful tools and recently, we learned of one tool that brings live, interactive transcriptions and captions to Google Meet. Otter.ai is a voice transcription tool that can be helpful for those who want to take notes or review parts of a virtual meeting. 

Otter.ai works with Google Meet through a Chrome web browser extension. Once installed, Otter.ai can be started easily during Google Meet calls. Captions can be displayed on the screen for one attendee, or shared with all meeting attendees.

The transcription box runs on the side of the Meet call, and can be resized to make it easy for users to engage with the meeting.  the transcription can also be reviewed and annotated as the meeting is underway. 

Tech Crunch recently highlighted the uses of Otter.ai and said the tool helps non-native English speakers who may have difficulty understanding spoken words. It can also be helpful for those who miss part of a meeting. 

“And because the transcriptions can be shared after the fact, people who missed the meeting can still be looped in to catch up -  an increasing need in the remote-work era of the pandemic, where home and parenting responsibilities can often distract users from their daily tasks,” stated the Tech Crunch article. 

Otter.ai offers several plans, including a free option. The free plan features recording and playback at varying speeds, real time transcription, speaker identification, keywords and word clouds, editing, folders for organization, export audio and text functions and more. Users can transcribe up to 600 minutes of audio per month. Otter.ai can also transcribe imported videos. The pay options offer more transcription time, special export functions and Zoom integration. 

There is also an Otter.ai mobile app that can record conversations and in-person meetings for transcription.

Kate Huttenlocher, assistant manager of support services in e-Learning and Instructional Support, said there are other captioning services for Google Meet, but Otter.ai provides the captioning and transcript stored in the cloud. 

“I could see students who need that sort of accommodation could go back and listen to the meeting again. I could see it benefiting instructors who might want to record a Google Meet session and have a  transcript to provide after the fact,” said Huttenlocher. 

To install Otter.ai, visit the Otter.ai website and sign up for an account. Download and install the mobile app or activate the Chrome extension. Then, get to know the product and teach Otter.ai any jargon or acronyms, product names or special terms so it can recognize them in conversation. 

For more information on Otter.ai, visit the Otter.ai website. Oakland University and eLIS have no affiliation with Otter.ai and can’t provide support for Otter.ai. We are providing this information as a resource for those who would like to try it.