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A broad range of campus courses, symposia, and events are now available to a wired worldwide audience, thanks to Berkeley's new partnership with Google Video. Lectures on integrative biology and (what else?) search engines share virtual space with Richard Muller's perennially popular Physics for Future Presidents (above left). Webcasts of public events, sponsored by (among others) the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Journalism, are also made available while they're hot: Last week's webcast panel on the Iraq war (above right), sponsored by the J-School, will migrate to Google Video this week. (Muller photo by Peg Skorpinski; forum photo by Bonnie Azab Powell)
 

Pixels and pedagogy: Just don't call it 'U Tube'
New Google Video site expands public access to Berkeley courses and events

| 28 September 2006

In an innovative move to share its intellectual treasures with the public, the campus this week announced 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, Berkeley will be the first university with its own page on the Google Video website, campus officials said. More than 250 hours of content are being made available to the public.

"Google appreciates the opportunity to partner with progressive universities like Berkeley to make undiscovered lectures and entire courses available to our users," said Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, who earned both his Ph.D. (1982) and master's degree (1979) here. "Berkeley's content - much of which wasn't easily accessible online - will enhance the comprehensive and diverse range of offerings by Google Video."

Visitors to video.google.com/ucberkeley will be able to view or download a half-dozen courses in their entirety. 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 Berkeley's position as a leader in knowledge-sharing through open-access online video, campus officials said.

"Google Video presents us with a wonderful opportunity to share Berkeley's amazing faculty with a global community of lifelong learners," said Christina Maslach, vice provost for undergraduate education. "We see this endeavor as one part of our expanding digital bridge that is directly connecting the public we serve with the intellectual riches of the campus."

Keeping ahead of coursecasting technology, Berkeley has been making academic content available to the public since 2001, when Educational Technology Services (ETS) began webcasting lectures and special events to students and the public at webcast.berkeley.edu. 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.

Broadening our reach

"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."

Google Video will also make it much easier for the public to access content from Berkeley's own websites by embedding a proprietary player, which uses the Flash plug-in to stream video. When viewers come to a UC Berkeley page, the video will play without the need to launch or download a special application.

"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, 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."