Daniel Lemire's blog

, 1 min read

On video-on-the-web a.k.a. youtube, is going to change teaching!

My teachers in high school would use lots of short movies. But this was bad as it took up precious time in class, you couldn’t watch it over on your own, the sound was sometimes terrible if you were at the far end of the class, and so on.

These days, the technology has improved by leaps and bounds. Any time this year, you can watch a high quality video by UCR’s Eamonn Keogh on time series data mining. It is free, it is good quality, and it is here, now, for us to use.

Wouldn’t you want to have James Gosling explain the finer points of Java as part of your course on Java? Having guest lecturers in college requires organization, time, and energy. A guest lecturer won’t repeat its lecture, and every single year, you have to get him to come back. Also, can you get the Turing medalist Jim Gray to come over and explain what a data cube is to your class? These days, these same students can listen to Jim by following a link. They can do it whether you want them to or not.

Having talks available through video-on-the-web is not any different than the use of textbooks, you use someone else’s content in your course, except that it is maybe even cheaper. I can see this becoming a way for authors to boost the sales of their books: watch me talk for free and, if you like it, buy my book!

The world is changing.