e-Learning » Videolectures

Kennedy Center for International Studies
The lecture series of the Brigham Young University (BYU)

The Kennedy Center is a global Center based at the Brigham Young University campus and hosts six interdisciplinary majors and five minor degrees. The website provides information on academic and research programs and also hosts a rich data bank of all the most important lectures held at the Center. Since 1984, the Center has regularly promoted and recorded meetings for specialist discussion and debate, and these have been available on the website, in audio format since1984, and in video format since 2001. The Center’s database now contains more than 1,000 audio and video (more than 250 of the former and over 750 of the latter) documents, easily searchable using a basic search tool or by region (the geographical area the lectures focus on) or by category i.e., Ambassadors, Book of the Semester, Careers, Diplomacy, Development, Field Study, International Relations and National Security. All the lectures are freely viewable on the website and can be shared on other websites or through social networks; and all can also be downloaded as audio files. New videos have been regularly uploaded each month over the last few years. The simple structure of the website facilitates guided surfing, but the search tools are problematic as it is not possible to scroll through all the speeches chronologically.

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LSE Public Lectures and Events
Podcasts and videos by the London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the main International Universities to embrace a wide range of topics under the Social Sciences umbrella, from Economics to Law and Sociology. A selection of some of the best lectures and events held at the school are recorded and uploaded onto the website and visitors can access them on the “Videos of public lectures and events” page. Users can keep up-to-speed with the latest releases by following the official Twitter and Facebook page of the Department, or by simply scanning the podcast section where videos are organized chronologically. An RSS feed tool is also available. The videos are embedded in the page and the player hosts a long list of contents accessible by scrolling down the bar on the right. Details about the speakers are also provided. Topics range from gender to finance to geo-politics and the environment. The platform is entirely open, therefore all users can visit the page without signing up or providing personal details.

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MIT Center for International Studies
The videogallery of the Center for International Studies

The MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) was established in 1952 with the aim of conducting research to help the United States in its cold war struggle against the Soviet Union. Later, however, the Center broadened its focus to include research and teaching on a wide range of international subjects, like development studies, comparative politics, international relations, social movements, security studies, and international science and technology. The Center includes 160 staff and faculties, besides foreign students and researchers, and seven working groups are effective today. The events sponsored by the CIS are made available in the video gallery, where the videos are imported directly by MIT web-tv, MIT-TechTV (http://techtv.mit.edu/). Videolectures are freely available but no description or materials are attached. The pages all have the same structure: a video talking about the role of the Center in the MIT universe, the selected videolecture, with a few search links to the other MIT video collections (CIS TechTV and MIT World CIS), RSS feeds and a list of recently viewed videos. The web site is simple to use and has a clear structure. The MIT Center for International Studies is also present on iTunes with a podcast including about 20 videolectures.

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OpenYale
The free and open access lectures repository of the Yale University

Open Yale Courses is a portal providing free and open access to a selection of introductory courses given by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University from 2006 to the present. The courses – 35 are currently available on the website – embrace a wide range of topics, from humanities and social sciences to physical and biological sciences. Political sciences is present with few but significant contributions, such as Ian Shapiro with his 25-lecture course on the Moral Foundation of Politics and Douglas A. Rae with 24 lectures on Capitalism, Success, Crisis and Reform. The contents are classified by department, each course including class lectures and other course materials, such as the syllabus, suggested reading, a download area and, in many cases, a study group. More than 850 lectures are currently available for viewing on the website. Video and audio-only versions are also downloadable, directly from the OpenYale Courses platform. All video and audio elements are also available on YouTube and the iTunes channel. A transcript of each lecture is also provided for free viewing and downloading. No registration is required. Yale replicates in the multimedia repositories the complexity of its disciplinary organisation, offering specialized portals for research centres or departments, such as the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communication, the Centre for Study of Globalization and the Yale Divinity School.

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Oxford Internet Institute webcast
The webcast on Internet and society of the Oxford Internet Institute

The Oxford Internet Institute is a department of the University of Oxford founded in 2001, and is a leading centre for the multidisciplinary study of the Internet and society. The Institute organises frequent discussions with specialists in research, use and regulation of the net. The Oxford Internet Institute webcast portal hosts the entire archive of the Oxford Internet Institute from 2005 to 2011 with numerous speeches, panels and conferences. There are approximately 200 videos of different type and length. They cover a large number of subjects such as social networks, Internet regulation, safety and security online, e-government and democracy, civil society, open access, e-learning, citizen journalism, and the future of the Internet itself. The main videolecture topics deal with the economic and social developments linked to the Internet, focusing on the relationship between politics and the new forms of participation and communication. The documents can be accessed by topic and event or by using a keyword search, or else a free search by title and date. There is a brief description of each video and they can be seen in their entirety on the site in low or high quality and can be downloaded in various formats. There is no other support information nor are there any links to other material. A useful database allows to follow the state of debate on new technology, even though the site does not distinguish itself in terms of either innovation or presentation.

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TED – Ideas worth spreading
The best talks and performances from TED and partners available for free

TED is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 as a conference focusing on three main areas – Technology, Entertainment, Design – and today embraces an ever broader field of interests, including Business, Science, Culture, the Arts and Global Issues. The TED database brings together the products of various initiatives promoted by the organization, beginning with the original nucleus of TEDTalks, which soon conquered a global audience. In time, various other initiatives were added which led to the creation of a number of video documents as well as the TED conference, Events, annual Prizes and the Fellows. The site, launched in April 2007, collects the talks given during the two annual conferences, the TED conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK. More than 1,000 talks given by about 850 speakers are currently available. All the talks are subtitled in English and freely available for viewing, sharing and reposting. Thanks to its Translation Project, TED has so far produced over 22,000 translations in 82 languages through the voluntary contributions of around 6,000 translators. Each talk comes with a brief introduction to the author and the talk, with an interactive transcript directly included with the video. Each talk has its ‘conversation’ area, where users can ask any questions, express an idea, and open a discussion on the subject of the lecture. Downloading and sharing videos by email and social networks and RSS feeds are also available. Thanks to the involvement of TED’s important private partners, this is now one of the fastest growing projects and has aimed more than others at involvement as well as increased international collaboration.

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The Internet Archive – Moving Images
The Archive library of free movies, films, and videos

Based in San Francisco, The Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation founded in 1996 to provide permanent access to historical collections in digital format for researchers, historians, scholars and the general public. As a member of the American Librarian Association, the main purpose of the Archive is to stop ‘born digital’ materials from disappearing and to contribute to knowledge sharing. Thanks to collaboration with institutions such as the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, today the Internet Archive includes more than 2,700,000 texts, 800,000 recordings, 500,000 moving images, 34,000 software products and billions of archived web pages. The Moving Image section comprises a wide range of content, from political speeches to news and short films, covering historical documentation and political affairs. The section is divided into numerous subsections according to theme and there are descriptions for each one. Most of the content can be freely consulted on the website in different formats and can also be downloaded. Registration is necessary for certain collections, however. The Archive also provides access to the original databases of its collections through external links and to original projects – such as NASA Images, Archive.it and Open Library – carried out in collaboration with major research institutions. This huge project achieves its objective in terms of the sheer volume of material available but loses points on usability because the architectural framework is complex and access to the material difficult.

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The Landon Lecture Series
Lectures on Public Issues

Inaugurated in 1966 by former K-State President James A. McCain, the series is a tribute to Alfred M. Landon, governor of Kansas and the 1936 Republican Party nominee for President of the United States. All the lectures are held in the university’s McCain Auditorium and are attended by Kansas State students, faculty and alumni, as well as the general public. The opening lecture, “New Challanges in International Relations”, which was given by Governor Landon, can be accessed in the site’s History section. The site hosts contributions from politicians – such as Ronald Reagan and Robert Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Mikael Gorbachov – journalists such as Bob Woodward – and key national and international figures, but no academics. A press conference is held after each lecture, to provide the lecturer with the opportunity to answer questions, and lastly the guest is invited to make a brief commentary with the lecture series patrons. Lectures from 1966 to 1995 are available in audio format; later ones are available as video, audio recording and text. A short biography of the lecturer is also available. The site is well structured and easy to use. The content is incorporated into the site and may be viewed in real media streaming and occasionally in flash video format.

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Uncommon Knowledge
The conversation series of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Uncommon Knowledge was set up by the prestigious Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This series of interviews, hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson, brings together different contributions from scholars, leaders, practitioners and commentators on various topics relating to political science. Uncommon Knowledge was launched as a TV show in 1997 but is now distributed exclusively on the web by a growing number of political websites and channels. The videos are divided into ten thematic categories ranging from U.S. politics to global cooperation and relations which are freely viewable – though not downloadable – on the website, as well as on the Hoover Institution Youtube channel. Each interview is introduced by a brief explanatory text and is available as a unique video or as a set of thematic segments. Full video transcripts are also available, as well as a space for comments. Users can follow the series on the site and on iTunes as video and audio podcasts or RSS feeds. The site is practical and easy to navigate thanks to simple search tools and browsing by date, topic and guest.

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VideoLectures.net
The free and open access educational video lectures repository

VideoLectures.net is an EU-supported project that aims to create a free and open access educational repository of video lectures. The over 10,000 lectures make up an excellent archive including items from important international conferences, summer schools, workshops and promotional events from many fields of science – mainly computer sciences. Political Science does not feature as a category, but is present in the general category of Politics, under Society, with over 150 items. The VideoLectures database covers more than 584 events, with almost 13,000 videos and 8,400 authors, provided by academic and research organisations, such as OpenCourseWare, Consortium MIT, the University of California, IPSA, John Hopkins University, Yale University, and Stanford University. The site is easy to use and has a highly accessible structure with the items classified by event, academic organization, people and topic, all ordered by frequency in tag clouds. The events covered are major ones in the fields of science and humanities so Videolectures is a useful resource for students, researchers and the general public interested in knowing the state of the international academic debate. Young researchers and innovative themes go hand in hand with more traditional topics and eminent scholars in sociology and political science, such as Emanuel Wallerstein, Zygmunt Bauman, Philippe Schmitter, Noam Chomsky and Giovanni Sartori. All the lectures come with study notes and references, with information about the lectures and lecturers. All the material has been selected and classified by a board of editors, and user feedback also forms part of their assessment.

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