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Collection: Video and Captioning

purple arrow (1137 bytes)NCIP Profile: Collaborative Captioning

NCIP Staff, 1994

At the Reingold Elementary School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, two fifth graders who are deaf worked together to caption a videotape of Deaf Awareness Day, a citywide event attended by students who are deaf and hard of hearing from all over metropolitan Boston.

Since the video had no audio and only some sign language, Timmy and Jonathan acted as reporters, using captions to describe and comment on the action in the video. For example, when the camera caught a boy falling down during the potato sack race, the students wrote, Poor Danny, he fell. Better luck next time.


black and white photo of students and teacher (5418 bytes)

Students and their teacher discuss
how to caption a videotape - a unique multi-step
process that strengthens literacy skills.


The students easily learned how to use the captioning equipment and independently carried out every step in the process. The students' teacher Sheila Donahue, an educator with the CAPS Collaborative in western Massachusetts, helped with revisions, encouraging Timmy and Jonathan to clarify the text and use proper grammar and spelling. Seven weeks after they began the process, the tape was finally captioned and shared with other students, deaf and hearing. The boys also took the tapes home.

Sheila says that Timmy and Jonathan were always excited to work on the project and that it significantly helped their comprehension and writing skills. "Being able to play and replay the video has given the boys time to notice details, and this is reflected in their written language," reports Sheila. "I've seen improvement in their punctuation, use of verb tenses, and the richness of their vocabulary."


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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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