April 21, 2009
By Elisabeth Grant
When we mentioned YouTube EDU briefly on AHA Today, in the April 2, 2009 edition of What We’re Reading, we thought it seemed like a promising resource. In this post we take a closer look to see what all the site has to offer.
YouTube created this EDU section to make the 100-plus college-affiliated channels easier to find (and to separate them from the sillier videos on the site). It’s like one-stop shopping for lectures, interviews, and other educational videos.
To start off, check out the main navigation of the site. It breaks up the videos into three main sections:
- Directory – An alphabetical list of schools included in YouTube EDU
- Most Subscribed – To stay up-to-date with new content, YouTube users can subscribe to different YouTube channels (kind of like signing up for a blog’s RSS feed). A few of the 20 most subscribed to channels on YouTube EDU include: MIT, the Research Channel, Harvard Business Publishing, Berklee Music, and Stanford.
- Most Viewed – This section shows users channels whose videos get the most views. Some of the most viewed channels include: the National Programme on Technology and Enhanced Learning (which, “provides technical lectures from all seven Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore”), the Culinary Institute of America, the University of California Television (uctv), Virginia Tech, and much more.
Some of the videos are recordings of standard lectures, with professors just talking to a class, often even writing on a chalkboard. For example, this “Advanced Finite Elements Analysis” lecture (which, while a very basic video, has drawn in over 45,000 views). Other videos keep a lecture format, like this video on the “Science of Watchmen,” but branch out and incorporate things like video clips. In the Science of the Watchmen lecture, physics professor James Kakalios talks over clips from the Watchmen movie and illustrates some concepts with the use of physics machines and lasers. How-to videos are also some of the most watched content in the EDU section: from guitar lessons to making spring cupcakes.
History videos and lectures
But while videos on guitar lessons, cupcakes creation, and the physics of the Watchmen movie are interesting, they’re not much use in a history classroom. History educators may be more interested in some of the lectures, interviews, and talks pertaining to history. Here are just a handful:
- Conversations with History
The “Conversations with History” series showcases interviews with historians, political scientists, writers, and other professionals talking about their work and world events. See the official site for more information. Some notable participants from the history profession include: James M. McPherson, David Kennedy, Ruth Rosen, and Howard Zinn, to name a few.
- African American History: Modern Freedom Struggle
This series of lectures is from a Stanford University African American history course.
- New Directions in Digital History
Dan Cohen gives a talk about Zotera and digital history for the Kelvin Smith Library/Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities Digital Library Lecture Series.