YouTube announced YouTube for Schools  today, a variant of YouTube designed to be more education friendly.
This site seems primarily aimed at the primary and secondary market, although higher ed may find some things to like. If a school signs up for the service it can upload videos that are then displayed without any non-educational videos (or commenting). The YouTube University  site has playlists for arts, business, education, engineering, history, humanities, languages, law, mathematics, medicine, science and social sciences.
It is great to see YouTube, and by extension, Google investing some thought into the education space. I hope that this is just a beginning, because I think the potential for YouTube and Google in higher ed is significant.
If I were running the YouTube higher ed business (Who is this person? Who is the main higher ed person for Google?), I'd make a big move by combing YouTube/EDU with lecture capture.
How could this go?
Step 1 - Partnerships: Set up a mechanisms where lecture capture providers can enter into an open partnership with YouTube. Work with all the platforms, from Echo360 to Tegrity to Panopto to MediaSite to OpenCast to develop the capability for faculty selected automatic lecture publishing to a YouTube/EDU channel.
Step 2: Grants: Set-up a financial grant system that provides resources for non-profit higher ed institutions to defray the costs of lecture capture platform adoption based on the percentage of recorded lectures that are shared for open education on YouTube/EDU. If a school publishes 100% of lectures recorded, then YouTube reimburses the direct costs for the lecture capture system at 100%. 75% of lectures open on YouTube/EDU gets a 75% reimbursement, and so on. The programming linkages between the lecture capture platforms and YouTube will need to be smart enough to calculate this, but that should not be a big technical hurdle.
Step 3 - Implementation: Commit to this arrangement for at least 3 years with the lecture capture providers and the schools. Build up the analytical capabilities of YouTube/EDU so schools can get good reporting on how the video they upload is being utilized. The automatic closed-captioning system that YouTube has in place would help make sure that the captured class recordings are accessible.
A system such as this would accomplish two important goals. First, it would bring many more materials into the open education movement. Secondly, it would lower the costs of lecture capture deployment for schools, divisions and departments - therefore accelerating adoption.
YouTube could start the program with a dollar amount, say $20 million, making it competitive for both schools and lecture capture providers to enter into this partnership. $20 million is not a great deal of money for YouTube or Google, but would serve as an amazing lever to get a great amount of quality educational content into the open education space.
Who do we speak with at YouTube and/or Google about this idea?
How can you improve this proposal?