youtube as a teaching tool

YouTube is now an important teaching tool at UC Berkeley.

The school announced on Wednesday that it has begun posting entire course lectures on the Web’s No.1 video-sharing site.

Berkeley officials claimed in a statement that the university is the first to make full course lectures available on YouTube. The school said that over 300 hours of videotaped courses will be available at youtube.com/ucberkeley.

Berkeley said it will continue to expand the offering. The topics of study found on YouTube included chemistry, physics, biology and even a lecture on search-engine technology given in 2005 by Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

“UC Berkeley on YouTube will provide a public window into university life, academics, events and athletics, which will build on our rich tradition of open educational content for the larger community,” said Christina Maslach, UC Berkeley’s vice provost for undergraduate education in a statement.

What struck me when I visited the YouTube UC Berkeley page was how difficult it was to navigate and browse the 201 lectures that have been uploaded…It’s all well and good having a google search box, but go ahead and click ‘view all’ and you’re presented with 20 video thumbnails per page over 10 pages, with nothing chapterizing the content.

Whilst I think UC Berkeley have done something brilliant by offering this free learning, it just goes to show that YouTube is often not the best solution out there. Yes, it’s got eyeballs but that’s not so important when your content is this valuable. People will search for it and it’s the functionlaity of the player which will add value to the experience. To get an idea of what I mean consider this example.

What I find most interesting in comparing Veotag with Youtube is that the main difference is in the length of the content being played. YouTube is ideally suited to sub 10min viral content, whilst Veotag is much more suited to long form content – more than 30mins – which can be dipped in to.




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