DIY Captioning

There is a growing awareness for the value and necessity of captions for videos. Yet, there are many challenges in actually being able to deliver captions to users. Often the challenge comes from two things: time and money. Often, we are left with the need to simply caption the videos ourselves rather than spend money on a captioning vendor. This is where Amara offers some help.

Amara, a non-profit, is driven to reduce barriers in communication and foster a more democratic media ecosystem. Essentially, Amara allows for crowdsourcing to caption videos. Here's how:

When it comes to DIY captioning, there are several ways that Amara can help.

Leverage crowd sourced captions

Find a great video on the web that you want to use in your classroom content, but the captions are terrible?

Go to and search for the title of your video. You may find that some other generous person has already taken the time to caption the video. You can then simply follow the instructions to embed the video from Amara with captions included. 

Caption videos from the web

Sometimes the video you want to caption has not been captioned previously. In this situation you can use Amara’s award winning subtitle editor within their site to caption the video yourself. Once published you can embed into your classroom content and you’ll also be helping anyone else who comes along and wants to use an accessible form of the video.

Crowd source captions for your videos

Have you made some of your own short videos to use in your classroom content? First of all, having a script will make captioning infinitely easier so planning ahead before you film is definitely a best practice.

With Amara, you can seek help from social media, your friends, fans, and students to help caption the videos by inviting them to collaborate and contribute. YouTube is another resource for closed captioning videos and even offers automatic captions. However, not all videos are capable with this voice-recognition software. All automatic caption services are not completely accurate and should be carefully reviewed and edited.

Have more questions about captioning? We're happy to help, just send us an email.