Redefining Open: MOOCs and Online Courseware in the Age of Creative Commons and Wikipedia

There is no doubt now that the video production community with new stakes in education is growing, as is the educational community with new stakes in video production.  Books will forever be important, and in-class, in-person instruction will forever be as essential to effective teaching as it is to parenting, but video has become the dominant communications medium of many of our lives, and screens – computer screens, cell phone screens, and tablets – the new, dominant form of information transmission.

MOOCs and Open Educational Resources: A Handbook for Educators is being made available for university faculty, educators, and educational producers involved in producing online courses.  The guide is a step-by-step manual to how to produce and distribute educational video content under the freest of licenses, with an emphasis on Creative Commons.  It is hoped that some utility may be found in its pages by all kinds of readers, whether one is a staff videographer or a chaired senior faculty member or a freelance video editor, or in any position around and in between.

ASSESSING THE AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVE MARKET: Models and Approaches for Audiovisual Content Exploitation

By Peter B. Kaufman

​In recent years, audiovisual archives, large and small, have been making their holdings accessible online and have started exploring a mix of models for revenue generation and what might be called know how generation through innovative partnerships with commercial and non-commercial institutions. This paper sheds light on the new ways that archives have been examining, appreciating, and even embracing business and commercial interactions in the digital age. It describes models and tools that have proven successful, and provides recommendations to help those who curate audiovisual heritage content appreciate and maximise better the value of their assets.

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Film and Sound in Higher and Further Education

​Media permeates modern life: video, audio, images, tweets, posts, feeds, and apps cascade across our screens, lenses, and speakers. By 2014, according to Cisco, video will exceed91% of global consumer traffic on the internet. Eleven billion square feet of screens will be in operation worldwide − enough to encircle the Earth’s surface 50 times over. The equivalent of 16 billion DVDs’ worth of media will be crisscrossing the internet every month and some 15 billion networked computers, phones, and other devices will be in operation around the globe. Such is the demand for mobility and media personalisation − from students especially − and such the declining costs of digital memory, that Google’s engineers have predicted that by 2020 or so all the media ever created will be able to be stored and played on a device the size of an iPhone.

For those involved in culture and education, a growing challenge is how to make the traditional worlds of teaching and learning – and audiovisual production – relevant for students who come to class in many cases already media-literate. The typical education consumer now is changing from someone who was satisfied by text and rote learning perhaps ten years ago into someone who looks to learn from and produce with the gamut of rich media available in his or her daily life.

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Funding Media, Strengthening Democracy

​Despite the pervasiveness of media, the amount of philanthropic dollars in support of public interest media remains minuscule.  The findings, released today by Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media (GFEM), suggest that commercial interests continue to dominate media.  Within a 12-month period, more commercial money was invested in a single Hollywood blockbuster than was invested in all public service media by three of the largest philanthropic donors combined: the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The survey and ensuing report, Funding Media, Strengthening Democracy: Grantmaking for the 21st Century, calls on philanthropists to embrace a practice of transparency and information sharing via technology, to determine how existing funds are being used and how they can best be leveraged to increase philanthropic impact within the media field.

Commissioned by GFEM, Funding Media, Strengthening Democracy (downloadable below) was researched and written by Peter B. Kaufman and Mary Albon of the firm Intelligent Television.  Over a one-year period, Kaufman and Albon collected grantmaking data from foundations large and small, government funders, other researchers and journalists – using an online survey, individual interviews with key foundation executives and program officers and roundtable discussions.

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Video Use and Higher Education: Options for the Future

​This report is based on the findings of a study designed and funded by Copyright Clearance Center and conducted by Intelligent Television with the cooperation of New York University.

In interviews with 57 faculty and librarians from 20 institutions and across 18 academic departments and schools, the Video and Higher Education Project found data to support the following:

  • The educational use of video on campus is accelerating rapidly in departments across all disciplines—from arts, humanities, and sciences to professional and vocational curricula.
  • Faculty, librarians, and administrators expect their use of video in education to grow significantly over the next five years.
  • Technology, legal, and other barriers continue to thwart faculty finding and accessing the segments of video they want for teaching and lectures
  • University libraries contain significant video repositories but the majority of the content is in analog (VHS) format and/or is not networkable
  • The majority of video usage today is still confined to audiovisual viewing equipment in classrooms or at the library
  • Faculty and administrators expect the sources of their video to shift from offline analog storage to online delivery
  • The demand for educationally-targeted video archives and services is high.

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On Building a New Market for Culture: Virtue and necessity in a screen-based economy

​In 2008, the Strategic Content Alliance ( commissioned Intelligent Television ( to prepare this report on new business opportunities to support commercial and educational institutions putting their digital content online. In 2008 and 2009, Intelligent Television staff conducted research and a series of interviews with senior executives, faculty, and staff at commercial enterprises and nonprofit organisations – including the Atlantic Magazine Group, the British Library, Cablevision, Columbia University, Condé Nast, Disney, Federated Media, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, the Guardian, Ithaka, National Geographic, the New America Foundation, New York University, the Open University, Princeton University, Siegel + Gale, Stanford University, and the University of Kent – with experience in the area and advice to give.

​This paper is the result of that process. In it, we propose that institutions responsible for culture andeducation examine their roles and responsibilities through the prism of three forces now shaping the future of the digital economy. The first is mass digitisation, as a result of which creative processes and intellectual work are going online with a vengeance. The second is the erosion of digital rights protection, as a result of which much of culture, education, and creativity is becoming – even often expected to be – free to end-users. The third is the commercialisation, through brand advertising, of display, search, and communication online, as a result of which consumers online and in the physical world are growing accustomed to seeing adverts on everything from their personal email to their Google searches, their mobile phone games, and their news.

In this environment, cultural and educational institutions – universities, museums, libraries, archives – should explore, perhaps with support from funding agencies, ways of securing advertising and sponsorship revenue from commercial companies interested in reaching people who visit their lectures, exhibits, collections, and other material online. These institutions should consider forming an advertising network to market their materials to corporate advertisers – selected advertisers who are likely to respect the material and the missions of these institutions while sharing with them revenue, equity, and other rewards of business. The point is that cultural and educational institutions have an opportunity now to engage, confidently – and on their own terms – with key players in the growing digital economy, and they should take it.

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Good Terms - Improving Commercial-Noncommercial Partnerships for Mass Digitization

A Report Prepared by Intelligent Television for RLG Programs, OCLC Programs and Research

By Peter Kaufman and Jeff Ubois

Executive Summary

In 2007, OCLC Programs and Research engaged Intelligent Television to study the partnership agreements between cultural institutions and for-profit companies for the mass digitization of books and other media. This report presents the findings of that study.

Libraries have been digitizing portions of their collections for more than twenty years, but recent opportunities to work with private partners, such as Google, Microsoft, and others, on mass digitization has opened up possibilities that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Private funding, commercially developed technology, and market-oriented sensibilities together may generate larger aggregations of digitized books far sooner than the library community had dreamed possible. There are many efforts underway to assess various aspects of these partnerships; this paper focuses on the terms in mass digitization agreements that affect research-community-centered outcomes.

Read the entire report on the D-Lib Magazine website

On the Utility and Uses of Video in Higher Education

​Written by Peter B. Kaufman on Sunday, March 15, 2009

The remarks below present seven focus areas and metrics for involving more video and rich media in the OER environment and those parts of higher and k-12 education on the road toward greater openness.

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