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Capital for Labor In Curricular Media Management?
July 21, 2010 - 9:30pm

Was hoping that you might be able to provide a reality check.

During my talk today, "The Campus Media Flood: Causes, Consequences, and Opportunities," at the Wainhouse Research Collaboration Summit I was asked about the sustainability of college/university funding for curricular media management systems.

Attendees wanted to know if postsecondary institutions will be willing to add the significant expense of paying for media management solutions, such as Kaltura, ShareStream, or Ensemble on to their (already stretched) budgets? If curricular media management solutions catch on, this will be yet another platform that campuses need to devote resources to licensing, integration, system administration, training and support. These expenses come on top of costs for the learning management systems (LMS) and lecture capture platforms that are becoming standard.

My answer was "yes" - I do think that campuses will find the ROI of curricular media management systems (CMMS) compelling, and over the next 3 years many institutions will be making this investment.

My rationale goes something like this:

1. Campuses are currently dealing with a "flood" of campus media, everything from videos used in the curriculum to media digitized by the library to media recorded by lecture capture systems in classes and campus events to original video mashups and presentation captures produced by students and faculty.

2. There exists a strong demand for a service that can ingest all this video (in whatever format), process the files, and create new video files that can be easily discovered and published to the learning management system, institution web pages, iTunesU or YouTube/EDU, and mobile devices such as the iPad.

3. Currently, this work is mostly done manually by media, technology and instructional design professionals. This manual encoding, uploading, and placing of video is time consuming and inefficient and expensive, as it takes up a large and rapidly growing portion of staff time.

So the argument in that the CMMS will be a system that will allow campuses to substitute capital for labor. The choice will be to either hire more people to keep up with the media flood (or have the same people not do other tasks), or find ways to create automated and self-serve processes. This investment will therefore not only save resources in medium-to-long term, but also provide new learning and communication tools to our students, faculty, prospective students and alumni. The media flood on campus will not recede, and in fact will threaten to overwhelm academic technology, IT and media departments unless the proper tools are put in place to deal with both the supply and demand side of the campus media equation.

What do you think? Do you buy my argument? Are you looking at CMMS systems for your campus?


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