Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Captions for the Internet - Educational Perspective

When Jaime contacted me to co-write a post about Bill HR3101, she indicated she would like me to write about the educational aspects of this Bill. For those of you who missed the post, basically Bill HR3101 would make all video capable devices have the option of showing captions. It would mean that many different devices that access the internet would allow for captioning!

There is a lot of research that shows how captions help students learn. It increases vocabulary, and helps students with grammar and such. Personally, I get this...students get an opportunity to see words and pictures together. It's something we do on a regular basis when teaching reading, but this allows even more content to be taught. Verbs become so much more real when there is actual action on the screen paired with just makes sense.

With this bill, the plethora of internet video becomes even more useful. At this time, there is some captioned content, but compared to the amount of videos on just one site - for example, it's tiny. Even with the addition of captioning to - About Captioning, it will take an act of Congress to fully caption everything already uploaded. Hopefully this bill will do this.

What it also means is that mobile devices become even more useful. I can see a device like the upcoming iPad allowing students to access video content independently and using captions to increase their understanding of the content.

This is an exciting time in technology and things will get very interesting. Take a moment and sign up for the Caption Action 2 to support this bill!


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