Kaltura at UP
After a long and thoughtful process, Academic Technology Services has decided to add a great new tool to our tech arsenal. Kaltura is an open-source video management and publishing suite that will fill a much needed gap in our digital media offerings, allowing the University to provide faculty and students with their own YouTube-esque site enabling them to upload and share videos. In addition, we will integrate Kaltura with a few of our major software platforms on campus like Moodle and WordPress.
With the introduction of our mobile iPad lab, the prevalence of modern mobile devices able to record video, and the ubiquity of online streaming video, professors at the University of Portland have begun to look at in and out-of-class video assignments as a viable means to further creative assignments and projects in the classroom. At first we were able to get by with students and faculty using YouTube but the more people who began using video, the more specific some of their needs became. YouTube is an excellent tool for a very small user-base; ads are expected and somewhat unobtrusive, password-protected content is likely irrelevant, as is the filtering and management of those users’ uploads. As our “video” community has grown, these small annoyances eventually began to create problems and so we needed to look for a better solution.
Using Kaltura we have a much greater control over streaming video content. Video can now be kept behind password protected doors so that only the University community can view it. We can add custom watermarks to videos for the marketing department. We can moderate material that may be deemed inappropriate to the University’s core values. We can also provide this new content in all sorts of formats based on the needs of each project (i.e. 1080p or tablet-optimized resolutions). There are many other great advantages in our move away from a free solution to a stand-alone piece of software and I expect there will be further blog posts with more specific details about some of those. After all we are still learning as we go!
This upcoming week, Sam Williams and myself will be attending the Kaltura DevConnect Conference over on the east coast. We are greatly looking forward to learning different ways that we might further utilize Kaltura in a University environment. Keep an eye out for a future post detailing our findings… it should be good!