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UC Berkeley Posts Full Lectures to YouTube 204

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the education-for-the-masses dept.
mytrip writes to tell us that Berkeley is now using YouTube as an important teaching tool. Today marks the first time a university has made full course lecture available via the popular video sharing site. Featuring over 300 hours of videotaped courses initially, officials hope to continue to expand this program.
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UC Berkeley Posts Full Lectures to YouTube

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  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:30PM (#20843701) Journal
    By watching these, it will have the same effect on me as getting UC Berkeley degree!

    (Except for the job offers and stuff.)
    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:44PM (#20843875)
      I'm surprised the internet hasn't made us reexamine the entire nature of our higher education system. Is congregating people in one spot for four years to learn something really the best way to do it? Of course there are physical things that you need access to for a lot of classes, but we could be looking at a future where education is a lot more accessible, transparent, and open. If you could sit in on lectures and classes just because they interest you, there may be a lot more people learning things and getting exposed to knowledge they otherwise wouldn't have. You're right that there would need to be some way to certify and verify things, and that's really the main strength of the current system. I can't help but thinking there's got to be a better way. But we're definitely not there yet, and old institutions die hard. In some ways we're actually moving away from this ideal, college is getting more and more expensive and the State is helping out less and less.

      Whenever you make education more widely available you improve all aspects of society, so it's in everyone's interest to be able to do something like this. Is progress being held back simply because of technological hurdles or is there elitism and old-thinking that's keeping the system from evolving?
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by doktor-hladnjak (650513) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:52PM (#20843973)
        I'm all for making this kind of material publicly accessible. If someobdy wants to watch these lectures, it's great that they'll be able to do that from the comfort of anywhere there's a computer and network connection.

        As a Berkeley grad though, I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through. Especially in Computer Science, most of the lectures probably didn't differ a whole lot in content or form from those taught at other less prestigious institutions. Most of what I learned came from being surrounded by other driven students in a unique environment and completing challenging assignments. In particular, the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner.
        • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @05:01PM (#20844103) Homepage Journal

          As a Berkeley grad though, I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through. Especially in Computer Science, most of the lectures probably didn't differ a whole lot in content or form from those taught at other less prestigious institutions. Most of what I learned came from being surrounded by other driven students in a unique environment and completing challenging assignments. In particular, the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner.

          Blah blah blah, all code for: "You can't take LSD over the Internet."

          ;)

        • by brjndr (313083)
          As a Berkeley Grad I'm pissed this wasn't around when I was there.

          What a sucker I was, actually sitting in a lecture hall.

          Seriously though, I knew a couple EECS majors in my dorm who barely had any human interaction already. If they had the option to play Warcraft II (or Marathon) and watch a lecture at the same time, I may never have known someone lived in their room.
          • This does happen, and has been the case for a while now. The campus has had a Real Media-based webcast system for enrolled students for several years. And yeah, a significant number of EECS majors just sit in their rooms and rot until it's time to take an exam or hand in a project (sometimes not even then, if it can be submitted electronically).
            What Berkeley IST should be working on is the damn enrollment system. Tele-BEARS on the Web sucks, plain and simple.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by JoshWurzel (320371)
          I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through

          You obviously never took Chem 1A with Professor Pines. The man blew something up or set something on fire during every lecture (on purpose). If I hadn't already known I wanted to be a structural engineer, he'd have convinced me to major in chemistry. A brilliant man. Makes me sad when I hear about everyone out there who struggles with freshman chem because it doesn't engage them correctly.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jumpingfred (244629)
            You obviously never took Chem 1A with Professor Pines. The man blew something up or set something on fire during every lecture (on purpose). If I hadn't already known I wanted to be a structural engineer, he'd have convinced me to major in chemistry. A brilliant man. Makes me sad when I hear about everyone out there who struggles with freshman chem because it doesn't engage them correctly.
            Is he still teaching that course? I took that course 20 years ago.
        • the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner

          Try working on an open source project if you want to be surrounded by other driven 'students', it's perfectly possible to copy that kind of driven / 'competitive' environment online.
      • It will may surprise lots of nerds (stupid ones anyway) that most people don't WANT to sit at a computer all day for years and years. Yes, people want to get together in a physical location to live and learn, is that really so hard to understand? I sure as hell wouldn't want classes on the computer. My social skills would be even with Milton's [cracked.com], and I'd probably be a slashdot troll by now.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by GnarlyDoug (1109205)
          That's a really narrow view on your part. There are a lot of people who would love to get an education. But they can't afford it. Or they can't fit it into a schedule because they need to work strange hours to feed thier kids. Or they live somewhere where a college isn't handy. Or, or, or...

          This is the start of education for the masses. Books are nice, but they don't convey enough information of certain types. The lectures will help go beyond that. Even barely literate people will be able to use t

          • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by AndersOSU (873247) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @05:40PM (#20844529)
            I'm sorry, but I really don't see how anyone is going to learn something from a non-interactive lecture on the internet that they couldn't learn from a book in a library.

            Anything that can be said in a lecture can be written in a book. Anything that can be drawn on the board or presented on an overhead projector can be presented in a book.

            Education doesn't come from sitting for lectures. At best the lectures provide the very most basic information to start the learning process. The real learning happens from interaction, assignments, and studying for tests. The value of a university isn't the lectures, it's the resources available to someone when they don't understand something they're studying. Whether that's classmates learning the same things at the same time, or expert professors and grad students (TAs) available through recitations or office hours, it's not recorded lectures and textbooks.
            • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by GnarlyDoug (1109205) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @06:56PM (#20845329)
              I'm sorry, but I really don't see how anyone is going to learn something from a non-interactive lecture on the internet that they couldn't learn from a book in a library....The value of a university isn't the lectures, it's the resources available to someone when they don't understand something they're studying.

              First, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests different people learn better with different approaches. [vaknlp.com] Not all people learn well from reading the written word. Hearing it or seeing it will provide a great benefit for speed, retention, and comprehension for many people. Just because you do well with books does not mean everyone does.

              Second, a book is no more interactive than the lecture series will be. The lecture series + book is a much better combination.

              Third, with the internet you will soon have blogs or interactive discussion boards around these lectures. It's just the way the internet tend to be. So it will become interactive to a lessor or greater extent. Even if you miss most of the interactive action, if the discussions are retained it is likely the bulk of your questions that arose will be answered, making it far superior to reading a book in isolation. At minimum you'll get the added benefit of a FAQ, and if you're lucky you'll have an active forum and possibly even the ability to communicate with an authority.

              Fourth, this is just the start. Soon these educational videos will include dynamic information. You can't show a heart pumping in a book. You can't show a sterling engine in operation in a book. It's static. With video you can show, well, video. These lectures won't stay just being a video of some professor. Eventually someone will start putting out educational video that is much richer in content and leverages what you can do with video. There are tons of things you can do with video that you can't do with a printed page.

              Fifth, thanks to the feedback loops of the internet and network effects, the best videos will be found, rated highly, and rise to the top. So the best sources of information will soon be easy to find.

              The current crop of videos aren't all that important. It's what they probably portend for the future that is important. Fully dynamic, multiple approach (written, visual, auditory), interactive, free, at will education.

              • I'm sorry, but I really don't see how anyone is going to learn something from a non-interactive lecture on the internet that they couldn't learn from a book in a library....The value of a university isn't the lectures, it's the resources available to someone when they don't understand something they're studying.

                First, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests different people learn better with different approaches. [vaknlp.com]

                Is there a growing body of evidence favoring a "dominant sensory system"? 'cause when I checked up this about a year and a half ago, there was a strong body of evidence showing that there was no such thing as a dominant sensory system, and it seemed fairly clear this particular aspect of NLP was plain wrong. If there has come in evidence pointing to the contrary, I'm very interested - anything that can convince me that I was wrong about something means I've learned something new :)

                Eivind.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by garcia (6573)
              I'm sorry, but I really don't see how anyone is going to learn something from a non-interactive lecture on the internet that they couldn't learn from a book in a library.

              I'm an auditory learner. I do much better by sitting in a lecture (even when I'm not fully paying attention) than I do from reading a book myself. I also have an uncanny ability to remember, nearly down to the word, conversations that happened years ago -- this infuriates my wife but my friends find it to be crazy.

              So, while I could learn
          • Does your country not have an equivalent of the Open University [open.ac.uk]? It's been around here since 1969, so learning without a physical university is hardly a new concept. There are a few problems with the approach:

            • There is no assessment along the way.
            • There is (or was) no good way of asking questions and getting an answer.
            • You miss out on a lot of the social components of the university experience.

            The first point really boils down to self-discipline. If you are the kind of person who can motivate themsel

      • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lymond01 (314120) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @05:04PM (#20844125)
        These will serve multiple purposes, the most common one likely being a bunch of kids sitting around a table working on homework late at night and they get to a problem or analysis and one asks, "What did the prof say about this?", they bop online, fast-forward through the lecture, and listen again to the professor's wise words.

        If you miss a class, you can view the lecture online.

        Attending a centralized campus doesn't work for everyone, and online lectures are a good thing for full-timers. But I wouldn't TRADE one for the other -- attending college is like being hand-held into the real world in terms of responsibility (doing your own laundry), being social (interacting with peers), and building relationships (both friendly and business).
      • by glwtta (532858)
        Is congregating people in one spot for four years to learn something really the best way to do it?

        Yes. If by "learn something" you mean "get a college education", that is; if you mean "learn some specific, limited, subject" then no.
        • If by "learn something" you mean "get a college education"

          I think the non-class experiences are at least 50% of the value of a college education. The ridiculous games played in the halls of the freshman dorm, living off of dining hall food, being hugely codependent with an entire community that is out of their parents home for the first time. It is a cultural common grounds that is as close to a coming-of-age ritual as we have here in the USA. It's also about the most fun you can hope to have in four yea
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Informative)

        by mikael (484) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @06:14PM (#20844855)
        Have you not heard of the Open University that is run by the BBC? [open.ac.uk]. You an cregister for the course, get the course materials sent to you by post, and the lectures would be broadcast on TV at the odd hours that no-one else would be watching. In those days, the main channels only started at 9.00am for school programming, and closed down at 12.00pm . Between those hours , Open University lectures would be broadcast, and repeated on the weekends. That allowed people to work their day jobs and study part-time, even more so if they had VCR.

        But now, the matierals are easier to distribute. From their website:

        The course materials

        We use a variety of media to help you learn. Your course may use any of the following different media that you will use from home (or wherever you choose to study):

                * printed course materials,
                * set books,
                * audio cassettes,
                * video cassettes,
                * TV programmes,
                * cd-rom/software,
                * web site,
                * home experiment kit.


        When Saturday morning kid's TV was boring, you could just change channels and watch presentation on mobius strips, fitting cubes into spheres, coastal erosion, the dangers of matching the harmonics of airplane engines/wings, bridges and wind speed, lasers and travel at relativistic light speeds.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)

          When Saturday morning kid's TV was boring, you could just change channels and watch presentation on mobius strips, fitting cubes into spheres, coastal erosion, the dangers of matching the harmonics of airplane engines/wings, bridges and wind speed, lasers and travel at relativistic light speeds

          I think you know you're a geek when, as a child, you get up early on Saturday mornings and quickly get bored with cartoons and start watching whatever the OU are showing.

          Yes, I did it too.

          • by mikael (484)
            Very true. There was only so much Tarzan, Tiswas, Swap Shop and No. 73 that I could watch. Bring back Metal Mickey, Joe 90, Thunderbirds, The Banana Splits and Electrawoman.
      • Remember the lecture hall full of tape recorders recording what the lecturer's tape recorder dictated?
      • by loganrapp (975327)
        How will a non-interactive higher education system help me as a media production major? Each production I work on, even the most basic, one-camera, one-microphone deal, requires three people.

        Editing class - we're sitting at computers editing video. Can we do this at home? Some of us, maybe. I don't understand something and perhaps all I have to do is lean over and ask someone for help, or raise my hand and note that I don't get something.

        How about the number of people who meet their future husbands an

      • by rben (542324)
        I think we need a University of the Internet, that would provide free education K-Bachelor for anyone who is willing to do the necessary work. One Laptop Per Child is one step towards that, Free Wi-Fi in communities is another, this step by Berkly is one, as well. But it would be good to have some open organization pulling everything together.

        Think about it. If every university donated content and some small amount of instructor time, this would be doable. It would give professionals a chance to donate time
  • You would think that YouTube would balk at being the distributor for a university. Will they try and make money with this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kebes (861706)

      You would think that YouTube would balk at being the distributor for a university.

      Why? They don't mind being the distributor for thousands of independent creators... nor do they mind being the distributor for the numerous "web TV shows" that have official YouTube channels.

      Will they try and make money with this?

      Of course they will. They'll apply the same business model that they are applying to all content uploaded to YouTube... Which is, apparently, to generate a huge community of video-posters and video

    • Since when has YouTube been about making money? Originally, they were about come up with technology that was so ridiculously kewl that Google couldn't stop themselves from buying them out. Now, like most of Google, YouTube is just about coming up with technology that's ridiculously kewl. Google gets huge profits from its keyword advertising, which subsidizes all the other money-losing operations. Sometimes they go through the motions of trying to make the other business profitable, but they don't really hav
  • Good for them (Score:5, Informative)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:31PM (#20843725)
    Free sharing of knowledge will only help create more and better engineers and scientists. MIT does something similar as well- at least outlines, and sometimes full lecture notes and videos are available at http://ocw.mit.edu/ [mit.edu] for almost all their courses.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:47PM (#20843913)
      Actually, that's what universities are about. Or were, rather. Free flow of information and research based on the findings of those before you. Standing on the shoulders of giants and such.

      Today, few universities can really afford sharing and distributing their research. It usually belongs to someone else.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Interesting)

      by neapolitan (1100101) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @05:14PM (#20844247)
      Yes, good point. I've used the MIT course syllabi for for teaching myself a few topics needed for programming, and they have, on occasion, been very helpful. Harvard streams all its lectures so we could watch them in our dorm rooms, but they were not released outside of the firewall.

      Much as I would like to think that releasing video lectures will make people tune in on their Saturday night and become wonderfully educated citizens, I think this will be an evolutionary tool for a (relatively) niche market. Keep in mind that a vast repository of knowledge is already locally available for free for modest effort at your local library, in book and video forms, and look how masses of people are beating down doors to get in there.

      Nevertheless, I do feel the possibilities are large, and a few immediate points come to mind:

      - A complete (spoken) language course on Youtube / web for free would be very valuable. I could easily imagine sitting down for many hours watching a series of these and emerging with conversational language. This would be very useful prior to a planned trip so you could hit the ground running.

      - Courses are very good at integrating study tools for a topic. If you try to learn calculus by picking up a book, you can probably do it. However more complex / scattered topics (Renaissance painting in Italy, Advanced concepts in cryptography, etc.) are very easily done using lectures plus book supplementation to guide one so you don't get lost / swamped in the topic.

      Personally, I can't wait for video lectures to become freely available. I watched Andrew Morton at Google [google.com] on Google Video as part of the speaker series, and found it quite interesting. However, I'm a geek, and you probably are too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Joe Tie. (567096)
        Keep in mind that a vast repository of knowledge is already locally available for free for modest effort at your local library

        Have you been to a public library recently? The largest in my state doesn't even have any journal subscriptions. I know the quality varies from place to place, but a fairly high percentage of them are struggling along with almost no budget at this point.
      • by Simonetta (207550)
        - A complete (spoken) language course on Youtube / web for free would be very valuable. I could easily imagine sitting down for many hours watching a series of these and emerging with conversational language.

        One way to pick up French or Spanish is to use the alternate audio and subtitles found on nearly all Hollywood DVD movies. Often there is both audio and subtitles in both French (for the Quebec audiences) and Spanish along with English second subtitles for the deaf.

        When pay
        • by caluml (551744)
          Greek always freaks me out. It sounds (from a distance) like Spanish. The sounds, the speaking pattern.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      How is a slew of Berkley lectures on subjects like "Female Gender Roles and Patriarchy in the Postmodern World: A Feminist Perspective" going to lead to better engineers?
  • Over 300 hours of videotaped intercourses?
    Did they mean Porntube, isn't it?
  • Wardrobe! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Otter (3800) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:38PM (#20843815) Journal
    This is really great of them (even the podcasts they used to have were terrific) but they really need to get a fashion consultant to work on some of those professors...

    Clicking around randomly, I had to laugh at the attendance [youtube.com] for Chemistry 3B, lecture 21. Yeah, that's about par for the course for Orgo that late in the term.

    • Notice how the exam average is 98/240, yet I guarantee that about 90% of the students got an A/A- on their transcript.

      This is part of the reason that a science degree from a "top" school means shit these days. That, and the fact that you could get a Biochem degree from a place like that with just three mandatory wet-lab courses.
      • Notice how the exam average is 98/240, yet I guarantee that about 90% of the students got an A/A- on their transcript.

        This is part of the reason that a science degree from a "top" school means shit these days.


        Or that could mean nothing that the average is that low. It's fairly basic testing theory that the harder the test to a point, you get greater dispersion in scores. Then you grade on a curve and can tell who got the A's etc. The difficulty of the test can simply be way more than you really need all th
    • They could adopt this [wikipedia.org] idea.

      Replacing the profs with hot naked swimsuit models solves the attrition rate, too.

      Bob's your uncle.
  • by MeditationSensation (1121241) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:39PM (#20843823) Homepage
    educating themselves with all this online courseware stuff? Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject. But I could be wrong.
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:48PM (#20843925)
      I have. In the end, you have to buy the course books- the lecture notes just aren't detailed enough. They're an aid more than a main source, and they were written with that purpose in mind. Other than that, its no more difficult than any other way of learning from books. The ability to talk to fellow students and figure stuff out is missed (although replacable with web forums as underused as that idea is), but definitely doable. As for talking with professors- I don't think I ever did that in my undergrad, so for me its not missed.

      I'm reading the course book for MIT's signal analysis course now. I'm actually understanding the concept of Fourier transforms better now than I did in college with a professor teaching it- the book actually explains the math, something my prof never did.
      • by ericrost (1049312)
        We had a really good workbook of all things when we did Fourier in my controls class. Going back to third grade on it did well for my comprehension.
        • by AuMatar (183847)
          I can see that. My aha moment was when the book introduced the transform in terms of Fourier series (which I can't prove, but understand) and showed step by step how X(jw) was a curve on which all a_k were related, and that as w got smaller, a_k became more frequent samples of the curve (with the extreme case being w being infinitely small and the result of that being an integral over X(jw)). Back in college I got the end formula and no real explanation about this vague "frequency domain" that we suddenly
    • by kebes (861706)

      educating themselves with all this online courseware stuff? Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject.

      I agree... and I don't think anyone is claiming otherwise.

      "Getting a degree" is so much more than just sitting in on lectures. Labwork, discussions with professors (and other students), libraries, and many other things act together to shape a person's education.

      The

    • Depends (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iknownuttin (1099999) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:58PM (#20844055)
      Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject.

      For a course that I have to take - yes. For something that I'm really interested in - No.

      I wish I can remember the term, but there's this style of teaching/learning that's called something like Discovery Learning - I think. Anyway, here's an example of how it works and this is how I learn(ed) computer science (I'm 42 and always learning) in a nutshell:

      I see something, an algorithm, a piece of code in a language I've never seen before, whatever. I then say to myself, "WTF is that! I have to find out!" I then Google for it and start reading up on it. When I was a kid and learning how to program graphics, I started teaching myself geometry and trigonometry so I could eventually get the Apple II to draw graphics. The information has stuck with me until this day. Now, the grammar that I had to learn hasn't - as if you couldn't tell.

      I really think if our education system got away from the rote learning and drills and allowed kids to learn and have fun at it - it can be fun when you are personally discovering something - our education would greatly improve.

      • I see something, an algorithm, a piece of code in a language I've never seen before, whatever. I then say to myself, "WTF is that! I have to find out!" I then Google for it

        Actually, as much as I like Google I'm finding that I prefer Wikipedia more and more when I have specific concepts to look up. The number of branching references from there can take me on a long journey, sometimes heading directly toward the thing I'm interested in and sometimes exposing gaps in knowledge that need to be filled. For pu

    • It won't supersede "classical style" education, but it can broaden the horizon of students (and lecturers/professors).

      Now, I have the opportunity to (kind of) attend a talk of Sergey Brin (as in TFA) irrespective time and place. I mean, I could even point one of this talks/lectures out to my professor/supervisor and discuss it with him and thus combine the benefits of both kinds of knowledge transfer.

      Science without access to knowledge is impossible. So this is a good development.

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      this is why there is no real threat for a university to do this... this is only part of a proper education.
    • I respectfully disagree.

      The big bucks used to pay for the Professor's authenticity to prevent slick talkers from deluding themselves or others about their subject knowledge.

      I have thought that education is a dormant bubble that will shake the world when it pops. All you need is attestation services to prove you have learned the subject.

      I know that *some* students thrive on the pressure of a deadline, but that would be a service to that student, not a core necessity. I had one great professor who used a bril
    • I will give preferential attention to any .edu domain results. This usually contains the links for lectures, power-point slides, PDFs, etc. from universities, and should thus be fairly reliable.

      After having received a degree in the field of Computer Engineering, I was able to successfully use online courseware (googled, no less) to learn an elective I wanted to take in college, but couldn't (specifically, DSP).

      I would dare say I was able to learn how to practically employ a variety of DSP techniques in abo
    • by eh2o (471262)
      It works if you really want to learn the subject, and it helps if the professor has a good lecture style. Also, the webcast course materials are almost always entry-level material so you could take a few survey courses in different areas but don't expect to get anywhere near the depth that an actual degree would entail. In other words, if you don't understand something in the material its probably just because you were not paying attention--its just not that complicated.

      Oh and UCB has had public webcast c
  • by vjmurphy (190266) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:43PM (#20843861) Homepage
    Sleeping Kittens 101
    Girls Fighting Girls 273: Advanced Techniques
    I Love Turtles Symposium

    The future looks bright!
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:43PM (#20843867)
    The internet wasn't created to distribute information, dammit!
  • i'd love to see a lecture or 2 on a subject i'm curious about. I'm out of college but watching a lecture on psychology or history or whatever strikes my interest would be great.
  • by KokorHekkus (986906) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:49PM (#20843937)
    ...since this will allow students to evaluate their lecturing style in addition to the other aspects that they consider when choosing a course. Personally I would have taken a harder calculus class if could have had another better lecturer. And conversely there are a few non-core courses that I would have dropped if I'd seen the way they were taught.

    And hopefully in the end it will lead to a somewhat higher standard in lectures all over in the long run even if there are some that will never change.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:51PM (#20843955)

    Berkeley is now using YouTube as an important teaching tool.


    I wonder if this is the last gasp before the masses realize...

    If you need to pay your own way though college (like I did), you're much better off buying 100- and 200-level credits at the local junior college and saving your money for the 300+ level stuff universities specialize in. (The teaching quality of 100/200's in the junior colleges is usually better than that at universities too - you get an actual teacher with a masters who came up through the high school ranks instead of some useless grad student who's stuck with you because he/she can't get a job.)

  • I really wish that Youtube would do as Google video has done, and provide a direct download link for the FLV in addition to streaming it, for several reasons:
    1. On "thin" connections, streaming simply doesn't work, but downloading does. Sure, it may take longer to download than it takes to watch - that's what background downloads are for.
    2. For something like a lecture, I want to be able to watch them multiple times, in case I miss something.
    3. I want the option of watching when I am not connected - if I can downlo
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      it's not like it is hard to get the flv.

      They want you to come back to their site to see the advertisements. Why should they make it easy for you to not?

    • I agree with your sentiment but to work around the slow connection issues I just pause after a second and let the whole thing come down before I hit play.
    • by Wildclaw (15718)

      The video files should be availible in flv format in your browser cache. Also, if you want to avoid having to look into cache, you can use a user javascript to insert a download link directly into the page, using opera (Set the javascript under site preferences/scripting) or firefox (using the greasemonkey extension). A very simple working youtube userscript can be found at http://www.openjs.com/scripts/greasemonkey/download_youtube_videos/ [openjs.com]

      The only problem is if your mobile doesn't support the flv format

    • by nevali (942731)
      It's not quite the same as a direct download from YouTube, but UCB (and many others) have been making their material freely available via iTunes U for some time, which is handily also a standard format (MPEG-4 video, as opposed to FLV).

      Mind you, YouTube have reportedly been encoding everything uploaded recently as H.264 as well as FLV, though I think that's more to do with the iPod/iPhone/Apple TV support than direct downloads (sadly).
    • You've missed the entire point of streaming media.
  • I'd think that would be a better choice..... YouTube is nice but I want to be able to download the lectures and watch them on my own time. Not everyone has 24/7 high-speed internet access. I'd love to have high quality videos that I can watch offline.... converting YouTube flash videos to another format for offline storage is going to be annoying.
  • Berkeley Webcasts (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @04:58PM (#20844043)
    UC Berkeley has been webcasting their classes for several years now. http://webcast.berkeley.edu/ [berkeley.edu] It looks like they're just offloading the storage and network to youtube now.
    • If I hadn't commented already, I'd have given you some modpoints. Nice link, especially since there are more courses on the link you gave. The youtube link so far doesn't have many classes, and the lectures are horribly organized with some missing. Hopefully that will improve as the effort moves along. But either way I found a number of courses in the links you gave that I wouldn't mind at all going back to review a bit. In fact the link goes back several years, so you even have the choice of professors in
  • by Cleon (471197)
    Of course, it's not the equivalent of a Berkeley education or anything remotely close to it. But i

    This seems to be part of a trend; I know some scientific journals are considering putting their articles online for all to read, instead of charging exorbitant subscription fees like they do now.

    I'd like to see old lectures online, too--watching Richard Feynman lecture on physics would be too cool for words.
  • Looking for free business, marketing and so on courses on YouTube (or the entire Internet) just turns up "work from home" scams and dubious paid courses by various "gurus". Not cool.

    If you know any good courses in this range of study, please share links.
  • Today marks the first time a university has made full course lecture available via the popular video sharing site.

    Maybe they call today new simply because they transfered the videos from Google Video to You Tube, another popular sharing site. I have already watched the entire Physics for Future Presidents series about 6 months ago.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Physics+for+future [google.com]

    Why is a move from Google Video to You Tube such a big deal?
    • by Beolach (518512)
      > Why is a move from Google Video to You Tube such a big deal?

      IMO the good news is that "Berkeley said it will continue to expand the offering." I agree that YouTube vs. Google Video is pretty pointless, but if UC Berkeley has decided that their general policy should be to make ALL, not just a few selected, of their course lectures freely & easily available online, then I definitely think it newsworthy. Of course, TFA doesn't say they're going that far, but "continue to expand" is good.
  • by PAKnightPA (955602) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @06:15PM (#20844879)
    As a Berkeley Student, the first thing I thought was YES! Now I don't have to go to class. But seriously, this is why I really like UC Berkeley. They are a public school and seem to really take that to heart. While they wont give any schmuck a degree, they are funded in large part by the taxpayers so why shouldnt anyone be able to take advantage of what they have to offer?
  • by Komi (89040) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @06:49PM (#20845237) Homepage
    These are already available on the UCB site [berkeley.edu]. I do like the YouTube format better, but the selection from the Berkeley site is currently larger. They have some great analog transistor design classes there.
  • Our lecture halls are so small, they have to use video broadcasts to reach all the students in the class for many of the lectures. The way this works is they put all the students who could possibly fit into one hall with the lecturer, then film the thing and transmit realtime video to the overflow halls. While this may seem like a nice idea, it would actually be much better if students could watch the lectures on their own time.

    Med school is packed with many different classes and has a very tight time table
    • by julesh (229690)


      Queue 500 students trying to watch 30 hours of lectures for "revision" (i.e., for the first time because they couldn't be bothered to do so beforehand) in the last 48 hours before the exam.

      I know it's what I'd have done.
  • I went to an MIT admissions orientation this week and the officer spent a far amount of time talking about collaboration and interaction. When I was a MIT student, it was the buzz of being surround by peole with IQs 140 and higher that really pushed you. A few extreemly motivated people can do this alone, but lots of us need the cahalanging environment.
  • This is great. I see this as finally what universities should have been working towards as soon as the web was created.

    However can I draw everyone's attention to the course titled: "Physics for Future Presidents". Of course the lectures are interesting and useful, but the title is scary...

    "Physics", "Future" and "Presidents". Three words I'd never expect to be near each other.
  • I can sleep at home now!
  • UC Berkeley's lectures, the ones that do get recorded, had been available online for years. Cool stuff, but for most part, the number of recorded lectures is very limited.

    http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php [berkeley.edu]
  • by kalirion (728907)
    Wow, this makes it really easy to disrupt class.
  • by sherriw (794536)
    I feel sorry for students who paid big dollars in tuition money to go to this school and take those courses... because now I can get the same knowledge for free. Borrow the textbook from the library and bam, I'm now Berkeley-Educated. Ha.

    Good for us, bad idea for Berkeley. This should have been put in a secure area accessible to registered students only.

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