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3 Areas Where I May Be Wrong About Curricular Media Management Systems
June 30, 2010 - 9:28pm

In the spirit of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Schulz, I want to share with you what I've been thinking about a good deal - curricular media management platforms - and try to discover where my thinking is all wrong.

Full disclosure, I'm involved in a campus project to look at curricular media platforms, and I'm also writing a research paper about these systems with Alan Greenberg, a Senior Analyst and Partner for Wainhouse Resarch. I'll be talking about curricular media management systems, and other topics, in a talk entitled "The Campus Media Flood: Causes, Consequences, and Opportunities," on July 21st in Boston at the Wainhouse Research Collaboration Summit.

3 Areas I May Be Wrong about Curricular Media Management Systems:

1. Am I Wrong About the Companies?: I think that the biggest players in this space are Kaltura, ShareStream, Ensemble, and Accordent.Cisco is also in the game, although my understanding is that their solution is somewhat more high-end than most campuses would adopt. Am I missing any of the major players?

2. Am I Wrong About the Core Requirements? I think what we are looking for is sort of a YouTube for higher ed, with some other crucial features, but I may be wrong. The other crucial features that I think curricular media management system needs to have are:

a) The ability to integrate with the learning management system to allow video upload/discovery in the same manner as any other filetype.

b) The ability to ingest media from a range of sources such as lecture capture platforms and faculty/student uploads.

c) A simple Web based front-end (that looks like sort of like YouTube) that allows for media upload, encoding, tagging, searching, and the generation of persistent urls and embed code so the media can be used in the curriculum.

d) The ability to both syndicate media to other publishing platforms (iTunes, YouTube etc.), send the encoded media to a streaming server, and to create a player that can be embedded in an LMS or another website.

3. Am I Wrong About The Over-Complexity? From what I can tell, at this point in my research, the big concern I have is that all the systems appear to be amazingly robust and hence perhaps too complex. I think I want a platform that allows both faculty and students, at various tech skill levels, to easily upload, find, tag, search, embed, and view video in the context of a course. Video is treated just like any other content, with features that allow curricular video to be easily uploaded, managed, discovered, shared, and viewed through the browser and mobile devices. Am I wrong about what I think I want, or am I wrong to over-simplify an inherently complex platform and set of services?

Curricular media management is a platform and a service that I'm totally committed to figuring out. Video is critical for on-ground, hybrid and online education. Most campuses are producing tons of media, yet this video is not accessible to all learners on campus, producers cannot easily share their media, and faculty and students are too dependent on technical staff to find, share and consume the curricular media. I'm hoping that by talking to all the companies, working with colleagues on my campus and at other institutions, and writing and presenting about the platforms, that I'll be able to get my head around curricular media systems. But I may be wrong.



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