YouTube EDU is a volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities. We’ll feature some of these videos on the home page on Friday and elaborate further in a separate post on that day.
When Richard Ludlow was struggling in a linear algebra class at Yale, he scoured the internet for answers and stumbled upon a full video course available online from one of MIT’s mathematics professors, Gilbert Strang. He realized that there was an opportunity to create an easily accessible online platform for academic video courses and guest lectures, much like Hulu does for television content. As he did more research, he found that academic resources were grossly underutilized, as they were scattered across different sites and offered in varying file formats, making them difficult to find and browse.
So Ludlow launched Academic Earth with the goal of building a user-friendly platform for educational video that would let anyone be able to freely access instruction from the scholars and guest lecturers at the leading academic universities.
Disclaimer: ALL information containing in my post is for informational purposes only and should never be construed as legal advice. For proper legal advice you should consult a lawyer.
Imagine the scenario if you can, you are a Media Studies teacher. You wish to use some movie trailers in a classroom session, so that the learners can analyse the content and structure of the trailers and compare the features and similarities between each one.
Now you could use a computer suite and each learner could access the relevant movie site and view the trailer online. However this doesn’t really help as the video plays once and sometimes you want to see part of the trailer again and again. Now if only the learners could download the trailer, or even better could the teacher download the trailers and make them available to all the learners via a local network server, so enabling fast and easy access.
Well technically this is possible, however is it legal?
There are many tools available online which allow you to download videos from sites such as YouTube (usually through a Firefox extension or similar). They basically “scrape” the code for the video link from the website and then download the video file, providing you with a Flash based FLV file, some tools will convert this on the fly into an AVI or WMV if required.
However this article makes for interesting reading on the legality of doing this.The website in question (which is quite a respected tech blog) had given instructions on how to use video downloading tools to download streaming video from a site such as YouTube.
From the article YouTube states quite clearly that:
If a site streams a video to you, generally you don’t have the right to download that video as they are only making the video available as a stream.
Media-Convert.com which I have mentioned before, use to do this via it’s web based video conversion service, enter the YouTube URL and before you could say “is this legal” you would have a video in the format of your choice. They were soon stopped from doing this.
So downloading a streamed Flash based video is not an option, what about Quicktime based trailers from the Apple website?
For personal use, I can use Quicktime Pro on a Mac (and on Windows as well). What Quicktime Pro allows you to do is to save a Quicktime video to your hard drive. Once the trailer has loaded onto my computer in the browser I can save a copy to my hard disk for later viewing. I can even download the 1080p HD versions which look very nice even if they don’t fit on my computer screen as it’s too BIG.
Quicktime Pro is not the free video viewer but the paid for upgrade, which is about £12 per license for educational users (it’s £20 for “normal” individuals). There are other things you can do with it as well, I use it for making video and audio recordings on my Mac for example. I have also used it to trim audio recordings and some of the export functionality does make life easier…
Note the term “personal use”, most film trailers online are only available for personal use only. I would be surprised by any movie site which would allow a teacher to download movies for use in the classroom.
…no Content may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, publicly displayed, encoded, translated, transmitted or distributed in any way (including “mirroring”) to any other computer, server, Web site or other medium for publication or distribution or for any commercial enterprise, without Apple’s express prior written consent.
This would mean downloading and distributing it to students in a classroom situation would be viewed as illegal unless you had the permission of the movie trailer copyright owner.
Similar guidance is available on most other movie sites I checked. For example on Warner Brothers website is says:
You may access and display Material and all other content displayed on this Site for non-commercial, personal, entertainment use on a single computer only. The Material and all other content on this Site may not otherwise be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, distributed or used in any way unless specifically authorized by WB Online.
You could write and ask for authorisation and permission, sometimes this may be given, more often than not it won’t.
Legally students could download their own individual copy for their own analysis. However this may not always be possible, especially if you have network congestion or a slow internet connection.
So is there a solution, well yes, if you go for an alternative solution which is forgot online and go back to broadcasting.
Now an easier way would be to digitally record the trailers from the TV and use digital copies of them. You won’t even need an ERA licence, as the ERA does not cover adverts from the TV. Though if the trailers are part of say a film programme then these programmes probably are covered by the ERA licensing scheme and appropriate action should be taken accordingly.
However if it is an advert, under the Copyright Act you have a statutory right (therefore can not be taken away from you) to show recordings of TV broadcasts for educational purposes.
Are there broadcasts I can’t record under the ERA Licence?
Yes, only broadcast material owned or represented by ERA Members is licensed through the ERA Scheme for off-air recording. This means that some contents of certain broadcasts and material included in them, such as advertisements, are not covered by the Licence because ERA Members do not own or control the rights in them.
However, if you record these broadcasts for non-commercial educational purposes, your recordings in the ways relevant to the ERA Licence will not infringe copyright, unless a certified Section 35 licence applies. This is because Section 35 (1) states that where works are not covered by a certified scheme, then educational establishments may reproduce and communicate them electronically on-site without infringing copyright. You will need to adequately acknowledge, i.e. label, any broadcast recordings you make under Section 35 (1).
I have made recording just like this using an EyeTV device on a Mac (I have also used a Windows Media Centre as well, but never again…) I just set the video to record for a few hours (takes GB of space mind you) and then go through the adverts until I find the one I want (or one that’s similar). For movie trailers I would recommend recording the adverts during film programes on ITV or Channel 4, or during films.
If you do have an ERA licence then recording film programmes will help, as some of these will have trailers in them.
My Elgato EyeTV device captures from Freeview so I get a really good quality digital video file, it’s roughly the same quality as DVD. The editing tools make life really easy well to trim and edit the video you need. There are Windows TV Capture devices, some of them are just small USB sticks which slot into any USB port.
Though there are legal barriers that are getting in the way of the learning here, there are also solutions as well.
The Official Google Blog has a really insightful and interesting posting on the future of internet video. One interesting statistic is that thirteen hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
What Google think is that:
In ten years, we believe that online video broadcasting will be the most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication. The tools for video recording will continue to become smaller and more affordable. Personal media devices will be universal and interconnected. Even more people will have the opportunity to record and share even more video with a small group of friends or everyone around the world.
I am not even sure it will take as long as ten years!
The new compact MP4 Flip’esque cameras that are now available make it even easier to shoot and upload video.
One of the devices that many MoLeNET projects found really useful for creating video for mobile devices was the small pocket flash based MP4 cameras such as the Flip video camera.
These small, low cost devices allow practitioners and learners to quickly create video clips which can then be easily uploaded to a VLE or blog or similar.
In a recent Guardian column, Stephen Fry wrote about the merits of the Flip:
Video. Your mobile phone might be capable of it, your compact digital camera almost certainly is and there are dozens of dedicated camcorders available that can write moving picture information to all kinds of media at all kinds of qualities for all kinds of money. Why, then, a basic handheld video camera that can do nothing else? a) What is the point? and b) Where is the market? The answers, refreshingly, are a) Fun and b) The young.
I don’t have a Flip, though I know others that have similar devices and echo Stephen’s comments. Personally I have been using HD cameras such as the Panasonic HDC-SD5 which takes some excellent quality video which is captured to an SD card.
Key question is one HDC-SD5 worth three to four Flips?
The answer depends on the use of the video you shoot.
For quick video capture which needs to be uploaded quickly online, then the Flip wins out.
If you need to edit the video, or want to show the video through a data projector then the HD video has to the first choice.
Robert Scoble on TechCrunch has written a well detailed and informative article on why he reckons that Kyte.tv will win over other services such as Qik in the mobile phone streaming live video arena.
Anyway, back to the fight between Kyte, Qik, and Flixwagon over your cell phone video experience. Last year I was Kyte’s top user too. Why did I switch to Qik? Because I saw that cell phone video would let me extend my brand into places no other video network was letting me get to. I was the only one doing cell phone videos from the World Economic Forum, for instance, something that got me a lot of attention and followers. I told Kyte’s CEO, Daniel Graf, tons of times over the past seven months to get video streaming into his product. At first he resisted, thinking it wasn’t that big a deal, but on Friday I finally tested it out on my cell phone and was impressed enough to give Kyte a second look.
Robert Scoble is one of the top (if not the top) streaming mobile phone video users and has done some really interesting stuff at events all over the world.
I have mentioned Qik before, for me it certainly has a lot of potential as a tool for learning (and likewise could be a legal minefield in terms of privacy and data protection).
Article is certainly interesting and well worth reading.
So do you need an internet connected computer to “do” e-learning?
Well of course you don’t.
Back in 2006 I mentioned at an online conference about showing digital images on your TV. So there I was looking in the Guardian today when this advert caught my attention.
If you look closer at the features you see.
What this means is that if learning content is saved as a series of images onto an SD card then the learner will be able to view that content on their new HD TV as well as watch Freesat!
If they have a DVD player, say a £17 one from Tesco (or a console that can play DVDs) they could convert learning content, video, audio or presentation into a DVD format that can be burnt to DVD.
In fact the Mobile Learning on a VLE presentation I linked to above was also available (at the time) in various video formats for mobile devices, I also created a DVD version as well which worked really well on my TV.
A question for you: Can your learners easily convert learning content from whatever format you have it in and stored on the network (or on the VLE) into a format which will play on their TV or DVD player?
In a previous blog post I mentioned various digital video tools which allow learners to do just that.
Now a question you may have for me regarding interactivity; well watching content on a TV or through a DVD player may not be interactive at all, but this doesn’t mean that the learning activity as a whole needs to be non-interactive. A book is generally non-interactive, but that doesn’t stop it being used as part of a learning activity or scenario. The same can be done with content on a TV (and often is with a video shown in a classroom or on YouTube).
So is this mobile learning, well it’s not using a mobile device, but certainly is learning out of the college and the classroom and therefore the learner is learning whilst mobile in a “sitting on the sofa” kind of way. It is about the learner deciding to choose where they access their learning, whether that be in college, on a mobile device such as a phone, or at home sitting on the sofa in front of their 41″ HD television.
Finally who will be buying TVs like the one advertised, I think you will be surprised by who does.
Delivering content online for a conference or a meeting can sometimes be problematic. As part of the MoLeNET project I have been delivering a fair few online conferences using InstantPresenter. One of the problems I had with this system was that the screen sharing was Windows only (and those who know me know that I use a Mac).
Today Alan Cann (via Seesmic) told me about Adobe ConnectNow which is a way to meet live over the web and share screens, whiteboards, video conference and then some…
Adobe ConnectNow is a great way to share ideas, discuss details, and complete work together — all online. Reduce travel costs, save time, and increase productivity with a web conferencing solution that is easy to access and simple to use.
The presenter does need to sign up and install a plugin, and the free version allows for three participants. The participants only need to have Flash installed. The full version seems quite expensive, but the quality is really good.
You can see a demo here (from a Seesmic conversation I was having with Alan about it).
Alas the video is no longer available
Now is this not Macromedia Breeze just reinvented?
In many ways, the Adobe Media Player mimics iTunes Video and Podcast functionality by providing users with an all-enclosed application that provides access to network shows and podcasts. Content is sparse at the moment, but Adobe has partnered with a number of content providers such as CBS, PBS, MTV and more. Unlike iTunes, however, Adobe’s Media Player is not presently a “store” and offers free and ad-supported content. Adobe, however, has said that it plans on adding payment systems later to offer purchase and rental options.
Certainly this looks like it could be a real alternative to iTunes for those looking for a way to play podcasts.
news and views on e-learning, TEL and learning stuff in general…