Wednesday, December 01, 2010

EduStream at College of the Redwoods

RedwoodsImage by Brain Toad FlickrOver the last few days here at College of the Redwoods we have been working with EduStream. This is a very remarkable group. I would love to see more services work this way. College of the Redwoods is now a member institution of EduStream (at no cost to the school because it is grant-funded), a free video hosting service and educational video and learning object library created by San Bernardino Community College and Seattle Community College Educational Television. It includes space for instructors to upload their own content. This is similar to Youtube except that it is protected, advertising free, and will accept almost any kind of file. Instructors can create an account, upload video, audio, image, or any other kind document and link the materials to online classes. Instructors can also add video to their course from Edustream’s online library of educational video from Dallas Telelearning and other sources. Edustream will be expanding their video collection and services next year. They are also providing free training. Osman Parada provided admin training yesterday and then there will be faculty training next week. Osman is an excellent facilitator - he had us up and going with creating accounts and linking content into Sakai within 40 minutes.

From their website:
" was initially conceptualized as a means of addressing the increasing concerns of academic rigor with traditional television courses. Today, is poised to help educational institutions embed educational videos into their online content, expand staff and professional development programs, increase the reach of their workforce and economic development programs..."

What is really interesting to me about this is that it did not arise out of a commercial corporation creating a problem and then coming up with a service to solve it. Educational institutions have brought together their resources and abilities to create a service by educators for educators. There are services that one can buy from EduStream but the services that they provide out of the gate have to potential to save us thousands of dollars already. In some ways, the Sakai foundation is like this; those with the highest stakes will be willing to provide the most support. Also, small colleges like College of the Redwoods has a lot to gain by investing in such partnerships.

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