Kaltura Upgrades its Cross Campus Media Suite

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The ability for faculty and students to share their own video content is going to school with the release of Kaltura's version 3.0 of its Cross Campus Media Suite, an online video platform designed for education. Announced Tuesday, this release includes new versions of the platform's plug-ins for the Blackboard Learn, Moodle and Sakai learning management systems (LMS), in addition to a new 4.0 version of the Kaltura MediaSpace campus video portal.

This release debuts user entitlements that enable students and faculty to find and share video content in a variety of ways. Using the LMS plug-ins, such as the Video Building Block for Blackboard Learn version 3.0, users can search and share videos with a single class, or across multiple courses.  Kaltura MediaSpace supports user uploads and permits them to create a content channel that is available only to a select group of people.

MediaSpace also supports the ability for users to record video using a webcam and create screen capture content. For administrators there are user-level statistics available to provide more fine-grained analytics.

Michal Tsur, co-founder and president of Kaltura, says that the company has been focusing on end-user features. She says that "most video platforms are oriented towards content editors," but in education, "faculty and students are the editors." Once you have the content—whether its licensed, captured in the classroom or recorded by faculty and students—Tsur says it's important to make it searchable not just within single courses, but across courses.  The addition of these user entitlements and cross-course sharing features came about in response to discussions the company had with faculty members and instructional designers.

According to Tsur, "the next phase is sharing across institutions." She notes that any one university may have only a few researchers in a given area, but they collaborate with colleagues at many other schools. Institutions should be able to tag content to be available for search and sharing in order to support this and other types of collaboration.

Kaltura says its rich media solutions are in use by more than 500 education institutions worldwide, having grown by 300% in the last year. In response to this growth, Tsur says that the company has doubled in size in the same period. As well, the company is focusing more on out-of-the-box solutions, like MediaSpace, which can be installed and implemented quickly. Kaltura also sponsors user groups, a community team, and user meet-ups to help support the unique needs of education customers.

Version 3.0 of the Cross-Media Platform is available immediately to all customers using Kaltura's hosted, cloud-based solution.

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