Monday, May 2, 2011

Checking Out: Universal Subtitles

One of the projects our amazing foreign language teachers created involves having students create subtitled videos. We have them use MS MovieMaker and at times, it can be quirky when dealing with characters or accents so I have been wondering if there was an easier tool to use that would allow them to subtitle their video projects and as I was reading through PBS NewsHours site, I saw a call to subtitle President Obama's speech from last night using a tool called Universal Subtitles. I decided to give it a shot. It look me about 20 minutes with their helpful tutorial to subtitle the President's introduction at the Correspondents Dinner.

You can view the subtitled video here.

Now, I just used a YouTube video and right now, it looks like you can use Vimeo and  So, I will have to try to see if a TeacherTube or SchoolTube video works. But it was one of the easiest things I've ever used. Just follow along and presto!! Subtitles!!!

So here are the challenges:
  • where do you host your school's videos? 
  • it is open to the public, so what if someone interferes with your students' videos (though, I wouldn't worry to much about this)
  • it is an extra step for students' projects
  • not sure how you would download the video if you did use it for class
Some pluses:
  • it is free and open
  • collaborate with people all over the world
  • multiple languages so this might prevent all the weird character/accent challenges that students deal with now
  • video is hosted online so you don't have to worry too much about storage space
I'm sure many more questions will come up but it was pretty easy and fun to use.

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