Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

UC Berkeley offers OA videos of courses and symposia

One week after Yale announced OA lecture videos as part of its open courseware project, the University of California at Berkeley has announced its own series of OA educational videos.  (Thanks to ResearchBuzz.)   Excerpt:

[T]he University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Tuesday, Sept. 26) that it is delivering educational content, including course lectures and symposia, free of charge through Google Video.

Because of the quality and quantity of these video offerings, UC Berkeley will be the first university with its own page on the Google Video Web site, campus officials said. The campus is making more than 250 hours of content available to the public through Google Video.

UC Berkeley's page on the Google Video website features links to top courses, campus events and symposia....

Visitors to the new UC Berkeley Web page will be able to view or download a half dozen UC Berkeley courses in their entirety, including "Physics for Future Presidents, "Integrative Biology," and "Search Engines: Technology, Society and Business." Also offered will be a wide range of public events and cutting-edge symposia on everything from climate change to synthetic biology. The campus is set to add further content to the Google Video site in coming months.

This collaboration also strengthens UC Berkeley's position as a leader in knowledge-sharing through open-access online video, campus officials said....

Keeping ahead of coursecasting technology, UC Berkeley has been making academic content available to the public since 2001, when its Educational Technology Services (ETS) division began webcasting lectures and special events to students and the public through its Web site. That site will continue to host the full array of the campus's growing inventory of video content supplied by taped events and lecture rooms that are wired for automated webcasting.

"Google Video is a wonderful extension of our open video program," said Obadiah Greenberg, ETS product manager for webcast.berkeley. "The ability of viewers to play back video on a variety of devices; the ease of sharing and embedding videos via e-mail and blogs; and access to community aspects such as user ratings and comments help us to broaden our reach and build community around our video."...

"Before the advent of broadband, only our students or those fortunate enough to attend campus events were able to reap the rewards," said Dan Mogulof, UC Berkeley's executive director of Public Affairs and Google Video project manager. "Now, through our collaboration with Google Video, we can more easily share those resources and bring extraordinary value to the people of California, the taxpayers who help support our institution. This is a perfect example of how technology is expanding our idea of what it means to be a truly public university."...

Comment.  Berkeley is smart to let Google Video do the hosting and promotion.  This will not only reduce costs but increase the visibility and use of the videos.  From an OA perspective, it may be no more free or open than Yale's use of its own Center for Media Initiatives, but it's a huge step up from Berkeley's previous use of iTunes.