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Closed Caption Classroom Presentation and Discussion with Google Slides!

Google Slides has just introduced the ability to close caption your classroom presentation/discussion!  When in Presentation mode, simply click the CC icon on the slide navigator toolbar or click Command + Shift + C.  Any speech picked up by the presentation computer microphone will be closed captioned!

Watch this 21-second video from the Google blog to see how easy it is!

Can closed captioning your direct instruction and class discussion help learning?

Students can hear/understand:

Sometimes we have students in our class with a documented hearing loss.  In this case, we think about and use the Redcat microphones provided in every classroom.  (Though I would suggest the amplification of your voice really helps ALL learners!)  In a classroom where you don't choose to utilize the Redcat microphone, there may be students who are:

  • located in a part of the room where they can't hear as well.
  • near noise from another student, the hallway, the next classroom, or a temperature control vent.  
  • unable to hear part of the class discussion because the person talking is facing away from them.  
  • slower to comprehend the material.  The secondary support of seeing your words on the screen as well as hearing them helps them process the information.  

Brain research supports multiple access:

Brain research shows that providing information in multiple formats helps students (and everyone!) learn better.  For example, pairing an image with text that supports the image like the one below helps us access and retain the information.

Dual Coding theory suggests that images and text are managed by different parts of the brain.  By combining images and supportive text, students have access to the material through two different paths in the brain, increasing success in retaining and using the information.  While text, visuals, and speech haven't been specifically tested, it seems logical the added support provided by closed captioning helps student comprehension of the content being presented and discussed.

How Accurate is the Closed Captioning?

Remarkably accurate!  Robin Cicchetti has used the closed captioning feature in Slides with her class.  While her classes are smaller than our standard academic courses, all speech was detected and captioned.  Robin describes the closed captioning as being 'Remarkably accurate'.  If you don't want to close caption the discussion, it is easy to turn the closed captioning off!

Consider adding this new feature to your toolkit to reach all learners!


  1. Thanks, Terry! I am excited to try captioning out in my Google Slides and to show students this feature too!


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