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Collection: Video and Captioning

purple arrow (1137 bytes)Using Digital Captions to Improve Literacy in Multimedia Environments

REFERENCE: King, C.M & Short, D.D. (1994, July). Using digital captions to improve literacy in multimedia environments. Paper presented at the National Educational Computing Conference, Boston, MA.

PRODUCTS: Toolbook, ExpressAuthor, CD Time Sketch, Paint Shop Pro, CAP-Media LD.

CONTEXT: This paper compares analog and digital captioning and focuses on several advantages of digital captioning for several student populations, including students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, learning-disabled, and students learning English as a second language.

DESCRIPTION: Today, captions seen on television, educational and entertainment videos, and videodiscs are analog. Two limitations of analog captions are a single available font and the inability for the captions to remain on the screen when the video is in pause. In addition, viewers have no control over any aspects of the captions, such as display rate, placement on the screen or size. Digital captions can overcome these limitations. Digital captions can be available with any medium that is digital, including CD-ROM, CD-Audio and Digital Video. With digital captions, users can change the caption format, including font style, size and color, and background color. More important, users can change the language in the captions themselves, a potentially powerful tool for teachers. Digital captions may also be linked to other information, such as a glossary. The new capabilities made possible when digital media become more widespread will give both teachers and students new tools for literacy development and language learning.

The authors describe the equipment and software used to create a digital captioning environment:

110 110th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
1-800-448-6543 (phone) & 1-206-454-0672 (fax)

ExpressAuthor, CAP-Media LD
Institute for Academic Technology
2525 Meridian Parkway, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27713
1-919-560-5031 (phone) & 1-919-560-5047 (fax)

CD Time Sketch
Electronic Courseware Systems
1210 Lancaster Drive
Champaign, IL 61821

Paint Shop Pro
JASC, Inc.
10901 Red Circle Drive, Suite 340
Minnetonka, MN 55343
1-612-930-9171 (phone) & 1-612-930-9172 (fax)


Dr. Cynthia M. King, Gallaudet University, Educational Foundations and Research, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-3695.

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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