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June 10, 2003

Streaming Media in Higher Ed: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Streaming media is an important, if not essential, component of distance learning and eLearning efforts.  Brian Klass, in this month's Syllabus Magazine makes a key point about your implementation and content strategy:

Streaming media has been offered up as a solution to a wide variety of problems: how to connect students and faculty at a distance, to deliver core course content, and where to find new sources of revenue for cash-strapped institutions. Without proper consideration of the audience receiving streaming media, however, the promise of this technology might quickly turn into frustration for all involved.

To that end, he makes several important points that I would paraphrase as:
  • Keep it simple (keep the technology simple straightforward and easy to work with)
  • Keep it simple for faculty to do (low investment of faculty time is essential)
  • Flash is a great tool, but not simple or cheap (for content creators)
  • Don't skimp when it comes to the quality of A/V production - get professionals with professional equipment
  • Audio often works as well as video, and is a whole lot cheaper to produce and deliver
It's a gentle meander through some assorted topics in educational streaming media and is worthwhile reading.  

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