Tuesday, December 11, 2007

YouTube Channel: Classroom

From Vlog Blog:

YouTube Education Videos There is an interesting article over at Adweek about how universities are leveraging YouTube by putting PR videos, classes, and even entire semesters of classes online at the video sharing site.

The article concentrates mostly on the efforts of UC Berkeley, which has set up its own channel. Under the current agreement, YouTube has agreed not to put ads on the Berkeley channel. Instead, they have traded the space for the extra cachet they hope to gain.

While there is no “outside advertising” on the channel, and there is indeed a lot classroom material, the Berkeley channel is obvious meant to be one giant advertisement for Berkeley itself.

In the article, Ben Hubbard, co-manager of Berkeley’s Webcast program, explains: “You can put together a one-minute spot that markets the university in a certain way, but there is nothing like showing the real thing.”

And so, is it working?

The article states:

Within three weeks of launching the YouTube partnership last month, Berkeley had 1.3 million views on the three channels it runs on its page. “When you really boil it down, the size of the YouTube audience is mind-blowing and it shows how hungry people are for this type of content,” he (Hubbard) says.

I'm not sure if putting my classes up on YouTube is a good idea. However, I recently gave my students a list of 5 classroom innovations to see which they'd take most advantage of. Downloadable podcast or vodcast lectures and collaborative blogs (as opposed to individual blogs) ranked the highest. Starting a Facebook group or supplying supplemental podcasts (interviews with artists, extra information about an element, principle, or concept) ranked lowest. Of all things I was surprised the Facebook group ranked lowest because in the same survey 70% of them said they use Facebook daily.

The above article is an obvious example of how the media or the web is driving innovations in education. I wonder if this issue is addressed in the new book by Edward Castronova: Exodus to the Virtual World in which he tries to project the medium-term impact of virtual worlds on daily life in the real world, especially in regards to politics and policy. I hope to include Exodus into my Winter Break reading list (which seems to grow daily!)

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