Using Streamer in Small Groups
Up till now we've mostly covered using Streamer for your services. This article focuses on Small Groups, but the reality is that Streamer is used pretty much the same way in any situation no matter the number of people. In a small group setting, it's best if each person has their own personal Streamer account. You can of course still used shared accounts, but it's recommended that everyone have their own personal account. This way each person can add their own personal notes to the discussion (more on that below), and Streamer will be able to identify each person that is speaking. It takes less than a minute to create an account. We covered that in the first article, but basically you go to the Login form, click the Create One option, and then give that new account permission to use your room by typing the /allow @user command. At the start of your small group meeting, each person logs into their Streamer account using their own device (e.g., phone, tablet, laptop) and jumps into the same Streamer room. Then, whatever someone says is automatically captioned and translated.
User Tip: It works best if you use an external microphone with each device, such as an inexpensive (less than $10) lapel mic. If you use the device's built-in microphone, then you most likely will need to turn your mic off when you are not talking (just click the microphone icon within Streamer), otherwise your microphone will pick up what someone else is saying.
Adding Notes to your Small Group Discussions
In addition to captioning and translating the conversation, individuals can use Streamer™ as a note taking system. To do this, each person needs their own Streamer account. In Streamer we call these notes Phrases. These are private notes that only the user will see and save; no one else can see their notes. Individuals can use this feature to tag the transcript or add reminders wherever desired. First, I’ll go over how you can create a personalized set of phrase categories and then I’ll show you how they’re used.
Creating Phrase Categories
Inserting Notes Into the Transcript
- Log into your Streamer account, open the Account Settings page and click on the Phrases tab.
- Enter a label for the new note, the note itself, and pick a color category. For example, the label may be, Ask, with the note being, Ask about this item, I need to learn more about this, and the color could be Red. Use the colors to categorize your notes into different areas such as one set for small group discussions and maybe another one for taking notes during services, another for Skype calls and so on. Green and Black are reserved as special categories - more on that later.
- Create as many phrases as you like; there are no limits.
- When you’re done, close the Account Settings tab.
- Return to the Streamer™ main page where you see the captioning. The Phrases you just created are shown on the right side panel. If the side panel is hidden, select the Show Side Panel option in the Streamer Settings menu.
- Note that just the labels for the Phrase are shown rather than the entire phrase itself. To see the entire phrase, hover your cursor over that label.
- To insert a note into the transcript just double-click on the phrase.
Take it to the Next Step - PhraseBuilder™
In addition to pre-configured phrases, Streamer's PhraseBuilder feature lets you edit a note before it's inserted into your transcript. This is an optional feature, so depending on the person you can choose whether to show them how PhraseBuilder works. Here are the instructions:
Saving a Transcript with Notes
- PhraseBuilder™ allows you to have slots within sentences where you can insert the desired word(s). This gives people a quick way to modify a note to have it say exactly what they want they want if to say. This is much faster than typing or writing the entire phrase from scratch. An example with a single PhraseBuilder slot is, I need to share this with ____. They can use the slot in this phrase to quickly insert a note that says,
- I need to share this with Tracy, or
- I need to share this with my Mom,
- Phrases can have as many slots as you want, and they can be placed in any location within the sentence(s).
- User Tip: Slots should be created using either two or four underlines, like this __ or like this ____. If you use two underlines, then in the transcript the word will be italicized and if you use four underlines it will be bolded. This makes it easier to see the custom words they enter into the note.
- To insert a phrase with slots into the transcript: (1) single click on the phrase's label (versus double-clicking like we did before), (2) type the desired word(s) in the slot, and (3) click the Send button.
- You can also type (or write) completely new phrases directly in the text box. Once you're done typing the phrase, click on the Public/Private toggle that’s located at the right-edge of the text box (the small white square). When you do that, the toggle will turn green meaning the entry is now a private note. Then click Send and the note is inserted into their transcript using the Green category.
- If the person is non-verbal, then PhraseBuilder™ is a powerful feature that they'll want to use. They can rapidly create phrases that say exactly what they want to say. To have the phrase be spoken aloud, use the Public setting for the switch to set the entry to the white color. Let us know if they'll be using that feature and we'll send you a separate email with additional instructions.
That’s All for This Article
- When individuals save a transcript with inserted notes we recommend that they use the Microsoft Word DOCX format. That way the color coding of your categories will be saved.
- Also, when they save the transcript they can choose to have Streamer™ automatically create a summary of the entire sermon or small group discussion. This is a nice way to have a quick review of all the transcripts they’ve saved.
- Finally, the reason why Black is a special reserved category is that notes using this category will appear as normal text in the printed transcripts versus text of a different color. There are some instances where users may want that to happen, such as if the private notes should blend in with the saved transcript. If you want the note to stand out in the transcripts, use any category other than black.
The next one in the series covers using Streamer to support remote services such as when people join you from their home or a medical facility. Click here to read that article.
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