Never underestimate the power of crowd behavior. Udacity is hoping to expand to an international audience by relying on its own users. The online education platform has partnered with Amara to add crowd-sourced captions to its video content. Need to augment a video lecture with Italian subtitles? Look to the users.
Volunteers can use Amara’s web-based captioning editor to equip more than 5,000 Udacity videos with subtitles. Amara co-founder Nicholas Reville told Gigaom that he’s optimistic that “thousands of volunteers will join over the next month.”
The move goes beyond simply trying to reach an international audience. Captions could provide Udacity with a way to make its content accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired students as well. The company’s co-founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun said:
“We hope that by engaging our users with Amara’s platform, we can make our content more accessible by adapting to our international population’s languages. That is ultimately the core purpose of Udacity. We want to democratize education by broadening access and delivery of high quality university learning and content.”
Amara is reveling in the opportunity to work with Udacity and expand its influence. Over the last few years, the captioning platform has already formed partnerships with Coursera, TED, and Khan Academy. Way to rack up the mileage, Amara.