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Curricular Media Platforms?
May 6, 2010 - 9:36pm

Can somebody help me get a handle on the curricular media platform landscape? A colleague of mine uses the short-hand of a "YouTube for college media". Seems to me that the explosion of media being produced on campus, combined with the increasing demand to utilize existing rich media inside the LMS and library systems for courses, would be driving a significant market in curricular media platforms.

I was recently asked by a smart guy I know who works for an educational technology company, "what would be your boiled down requirements for a media management platform?"

Here is what I came up with:

1.Ability to upload any media source (including bulk upload) and provide user selected encoding / file-output options.

2.Ability to serve the media - produce embed code and urls.

3. Integration with LMS systems - for authentication and course media aggregation, discovery and display.

4. Ability to ingest urls as well as files.

5. User taggible content.

6. User controlled basic permissioning on content they upload or produce.

7. Searchable web-based interface for entire content store (perhaps with a mobile App as well!).

8. Integration with iTunesU and YouTube.

9. Integration with lecture/presentation capture systems for direct upload / ability to record directly from a webcam.

10. Basic analytics and reporting.

Note… I have left off any web-based editing of the media files, advanced user control management (check-out, check-in etc.), and any of the monetization/advertising/syndication functions that come with commercial products. (Higher ed is not looking to monetize its videos!) The ability to customize the media player and brand the content is probably less important. A simple system that ingests media, has one-touch upload from lecture capture systems, and integrates deeply with the LMS are probably the most essential features.

The choice to host the media files locally or in the cloud is probably important. It would be good to see the platform offered as a choice between a service or hosted locally. The system should be standards-based, and the metadata format should be exportable to some non-proprietary standard so that the content and tagging could be moved to another platform if the need arises. I think HTML5 and H.264 will be the media formats to standardize on, but I'm not 100% sure. The media needs to be able to play through the browser or be downloaded to a mobile device (depending on the permissions).

So far, the platforms that I know about include:


Ensemble Video:



Am I missing companies, vendors or platforms? What do you think about my 10 requirements? The idea is to identify a curricular media platform as simple, robust and affordable as is Techsmith Relay for lecture capture.



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