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PORTADA >> PORTADA >> Elite universities discover th...

Elite universities discover the power of online video

07/01/2008 - 14:39
M. AMIGOT, IBLNEWS

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Elite universities discover the power of online video

The MIT initiative called “OpenCourseWare” that makes all the school’s courses available online for free –lecture notes, readings, and tests- is expanding heavily its video lectures offering.

And some professors have gained their momentum. Like Walter Lewin, a Physics professor who is right now a web and iTunes star, due to his spectacular performance. Don’t miss how he puts his life on the line to demonstrate his faith in the Conservation of Mechanical Energy. That clip (#11) has been a hit.

MIT’s initiative is the largest, but the trend of putting online video is spreading among universities. More than 100 universities worldwide, including Johns Hopkins, Tufts and Notre Dame, have joined MIT in a consortium of schools promoting their own open courseware.

OPEN YALE COURSES

Yale started in December to make material from seven popular courses available online, with 30 more to follow. The initiative is called Open Yale Courses, and it provides free and open access to courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. It has even its own widget intender to make the contents shareable. “The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn”, they say. “We hope these courses will be a resource for critical thinking, creative imagination, and intellectual exploration”.

The University of California, Berkeley recently announced it would be the first to make full course lectures available on YouTube. Berkeley’s offering include 48 classes, from Engineering Thermodynamics to Human Emotion. Berkeley’s eight YouTube courses drew 1.5 million downloads in the first month, said co-manager of the webcast.berkeley program, and the school is being inundated with request to post more.

ITUNES HIT

On iTunes, popular recent downloads include a climate change panel at Stanford, lectures on existentialism by a Cal-Berkeley professor, and a performance of Mozart’s requiem by the Duke Chapel Choir.

iTunes U, a section of Apple’s music and video downloading service that was inaugurated last spring hosts free material from 28 colleges.

MIT estimates OpenCourseWear costs a hefty $20,000 per course. Money from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation started the project; now it relies mostly on contribution from MIT’s budget and endowment, and on visitor donations.

And what are the benefits? MIT and other schools emphasize the services benefit the students, especially for reviewing lectures. Fears that technology would hurt class attendance have proved unfounded, at least at MIT, where 96 percent of instructors reported no decline.

This free offering hasn’t reduced demand for MIT. “Networking, late-night arguments over pizza, back-and-fort with professors –that is where the real value lies”, says MIT.

WORLDWIDE REACH THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS

In terms of partnerships, Yale also has developed partnerships to enable these resources to be widely utilized in academic settings around the world.

For example, in India, Amrita satellite network is broadcasting courses to universities throughout India. In China, China Education Television (CETV) is broadcasting individual lectures that are being viewed by millions of Chinese.

Yale Vice President Linda K. Lorimer, who is responsible for the University’s Office of Digital Content, commented, “Open Yale Courses gives us a new opportunity to share our intellectual treasury with everyone and for free. We welcome other universities, high schools and non-governmental organizations to use these and future course we will post on the Internet.”

In addition to Open Yale Courses, Yale provides a growing library of free video and audio offerings on the Internet featuring Yale faculty and distinguished visitors to campus. This free resource includes a large variety of public talks, interviews and musical performances.


Lunchtime is video web time

Lunchtime is video web time. There is a new trend in the U.S. based on the idea that workers like watching videos on YouTube or elsewhere during their lunchtime.

And knowing so, a growing number of news media, including local television and newspapers have started posting videos at lunchtime that have young journalists as hosts and are meant to appeal to 18 to 34 year-old audiences.

The trend has swept also across sites. Yahoo’s daily best-of-the-Web segment, called The 9 and sponsored by Pepsi, is produced every morning in time for lunch. At MyDamnChannel.com, a showcase for offbeat videos, programmers are instructed to promote new videos around noon. Also, at Blip.TV, a video-sharing site, producers are encouraged to post videos at the same time.

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