YouTube EDU the repository of lectures, video clips and webcasts from mainly US universities has been with us for a year.
During that time we’ve seen …
- 10 countries join the service
- Over 300 institutions adding their videos to the repository
- 350+ full courses added to YouTube EDU
- 65,000+ videos and video clips made available
- Millions of videos viewed
The most popular video is from the late Randy Pausch and is a moving, but funny last lecture.
It’s perhaps worth taking a step back and revisiting some of the issues from our original blog post looking at the launch of YouTube EDU and see how things have shaped up.
Subject access has improved with a very basic topic based classification of videos, but if your subject is not listed there, then you will still be reliant on tags on individual videos – so while a search for Economics will yield hundreds of results, you’ll still miss out on videos that have not been correctly tagged and other educational material from organisations that aren’t in the YouTube EDU directory – for example the World Bank.
The most viewed videos page shows that while there may be full length lecture videos from over 350 courses, the shorter form videos appear to be more YouTube friendly – the TL:DR problem finding a new expression in video form. Plus it helps if you are Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs or talking about a hit movie like Watchmen, if you want to get noticed.
However, the YouTube bandwagon keeps on rolling – my own institution the University of Bristol, has launched their YouTube channel recently and there can be clear benefits, such as the Periodic Table of Videos from the University of Nottingham, that have been viewed millions of times and increased applications to their Department of Chemistry by 40 percent.
… but it looks as though YouTube EDU is here to stay after a pretty impressive debut year.
Intute features more academic Internet resources from YouTube.
The recent ALT-C conference in Manchester included a keynote presentation from Michael Wesch, the social anthropologist from Kansas State University who is perhaps most famous for his work on YouTube and his viral videos A Vision of Students Today and Web 2.0 the Machine is Us/ing Us.
The first half of the keynote looked at issues of identity / meaning and used the device of examining A Brief History of Whatever to introduce the concept of trying to get students beyond the MTV generation / narcissistic use of the word to dismiss a person or argument.
Wesch hopes that his use of Web 2.0 tools for a clear purpose can help change attitudes, so that they are more likely to say “let’s do whatever it takes, by whatever means necessary,” to come together.
Wesch seeks to take his students on a journey from being knowledgeable to being knowledge-able.
By this he means:
- Getting them finding, analysing, critiquing and questioning information
- Participating by connecting and collaborating with each other
- Converting them from consumers to creators of culture
Wesch expressed some concern about the emphasis on critical thinking, espousing the view that this fosters a mindset of looking for what is wrong with information. He wants to move beyond that to creative thinking where students can recognise what is right and wrong with information.
Thinking back to his time as a researcher living amongst communities in Papua New Guinea he recognised the limits of technology and said that it’s not the platform, but the purpose that is important in any deployment of new teaching methods.
The full keynote is available from the ALT-C Blip TV channel, with other speakers from this year and last year. Further online lectures from Wesch include An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube filmed last year.
Intute features more internet resources on Anthropology, Sociology and academic use of YouTube.
Colleagues have alerted us that there is an ESDS International YouTube channel with videos from their last annual conference.
In includes videos on the World Bank Africa Development Indicators, labour market indicators and the Millennium Development Goals and cross-national attitudinal research.
Audio, video and slides from the conference are also available to download and you can find out more about ESDS International.
If you want to learn more about using Internet resources in these subjects, then why not try the new edition of the Internet for Social Research Methods tutorial from the Virtual Training Suite.
Intute also features more Internet resources on the issues of Statistics and Data, Development Economics and more educational YouTube channels.