I am currently taking Educational Psychology 400: Working with Differences and Diversity and we have discussed assistive technologies in classrooms. Alec mentioned about accessibility during the week 5 lecture and I decided to take a bit of time to check it out. First I check the link (Captioning your videos for free) that was posted in our weekly schedule. It had three different online tools/sites to add captions to your video. I checked all three and decided to give ‘Subtitle Horse a try first. One thing that caught my eyes was it did not require me to sign-up or anything, I could simply copy and paste a link to a YouTube video (Photo 1). Unfortunately, it did not allow me to submit a video and took me to an error page. So, I decided to give other ones a try, and I checked out and compared Dotsub and Amara. From the first impressions of the cover pages of both site, I chose Amara a try. (Visual appearance of a website: organization, color theme, and ease of navigation are something I always consider.)
I signed up with my Google account (for FREE) then got started. Uploading a video was as easy as copy and paste YouTube video link, then click Begin (Photo 2). Then the video was onto the editing page (Photo 3). It looked pretty simple to use: type what you hear while watching the video. So I started to type as I hear the video rolling. After
I finished typing and I clicked a button to sync the captions and video. Well, now I was in trouble. It told me that I have too many words in a caption and needed to be under 42 words. Then I found there was a link to a subtitling Guideline (Photo 4).
Well, it took me over an hour to reconfigure the captions and then trying to sync with the video.
Well, it took me over an hour to reconfigure the captions and then trying to sync with the video. One of the major reason why it took me a long time to sync was my redundancy of speech in the video. I just had to call it a quit after it was getting to 2 hours of work and not completed. So I saved the video as it was and this is the end result. It looked pretty good for my first try.
In the end, I do like Amara and I see a potential for educational use. Like any new tool, you need to learn and get used to the program. Although it is a time-consuming job to type subtitle then syncing it to the video, it is worth a try. As an ESL learner myself, I used subtitles as I watched movies in the early period of my language learning. It was helpful that I was able to confirm what I was hearing with what was on the subtitle. I think any videos that I plan to show to students could benefit from having the subtitles on it. For example, students with a hearing impairment or difficulties, auditory processing disorder, EAL students and all students can benefit from having both listening and reading input. In addition, Amara allows you to type your subtitles in different languages as well. This feature may be used for any students who take foreign languages; for example, students may create a video with a target language and add subtitles as an assignment. I can use this feature to share some personal videos of my daughter with my family in Japan by adding Japanese subtitles.