In an effort to allow more students the opportunity to be able to access and understand the courses available through Coursera and the Khan Academy, these two organizations are now partnering with Amara, which is a crowd source subtitling platform which works with volunteers from all over the world who translate content from one language to another. While universities are offering their courses to platforms such as Coursera, these are often in English and this means that only a limited number of students can benefit from them; with the assistance of translators, however, there is no telling how many will be able to take advantage of these online offerings.
The Potential of Amara to Reach a Global Audience
Amara was established in 2010, and yet it now boasts having added 200,000 subtitles in around 100 different languages to various online videos. A prime example of the abilities of Amara is the fact that volunteers were able to translate the Kony2012 video into 30 different languages in only two days; a substantial achievement for just about any organization. With potential such as this, the platform will turn any course into one that is easy to understand by anyone, anywhere in the world.
Bringing Education to the Globe
According to the cofounder of Coursera, Andrew Ng, Amara has been able to assist the organization in delivering “educational videos to hundreds of thousands of students around the world”. Since the number of students enrolled with Coursera recently hit the 1 million mark, this is set to provide many with the opportunity to access courses that would have otherwise been unavailable to them. So far, a few of the lectures have already been translated into over 10 languages, and this number is set to skyrocket soon.
The Challenges of the Globalization of Education
Since the aim of online education has always been to bring education to those who would otherwise have not been able to benefit from it, due to geographical, time or financial constraints, it is only necessary that the language barrier be tackled as well; this is what is set to happen with the assistance of Amara and the many volunteers all over the world. According to the chief executive officer of the platform, Nicholas Reville, “Online education providers are racing to bring high quality education to people around the globe. The ability to translate video content is absolutely central to the business model of online education. Amara reduces the cost of captioning and translation by at least 95%”. As many people are aware, keeping the costs of education low is imperative if it is to be made available to the public, and this means that the education community needs to pool their resources to ensure that their goals are achieved.
As challenges continue to be met with regards to delivering education through the medium of the internet, platforms such as Amara play an integral part in overcoming these obstacles and ensuring that online education becomes more than just an opportunity for a select few – instead, it has a good chance of becoming a true educational revolution.