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Kaltura Announces Cross-Campus Education Suite

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Designed to assist educators trying to manage the flood of media in higher education, online video platform Kaltura yesterday announced the launch of its Cross-Campus Education Suite.

Making its debut with the suite is Kaltura's MediaSpace for Education which is designed to be an out-of-the-box solution that functions like a "Campus YouTube." Another component is the set of Learning Management System Extensions, which integrate Kaltura's media platform into Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, and Desire2Learn.

During the launch webinar, learning technology blogger Joshua Kim of Dartmouth College observed that "education means media," but at the same time, "we're drowning in it." He characterized the typical way colleges and universities handle online media as the "industrial model" where only a few people have control. Instead, he said educators need a "post-industrial" or Web 2.0 model where everyone, including students, can participate.

MediaSpace for education was designed for several key use cases, according to Leah Belsky, Kaltura's senior director of strategic development. Internally, MediaSpace can serve as a campus YouTube, a portal to distribute lecture capture videos, or a place to find teaching materials. Externally, it can function as a video channel for an institution's public website, featuring public communications, campus events, and live lectures.

MediaSpace spares students and faculty from having to deal with the details of media management by providing only the functionality they need or are supposed to have. Users can be permitted to browse, view, and upload videos, add metadata, and even edit media using the features of the Kaltura platform. User permissions can be managed through integration with a campus single sign-on.

"Campuses often find that the Learning Management System is their most visited site," says Kaltura Building Block developer George Kroner, yet getting video into an LMS can be difficult. They don't have integrated media streaming, transcoding, or delivery tools, and large media files can slow a system to a halt. Kaltura's LMS Extensions take the same tools available in MediaSpace and make them accessible from inside a campus LMS. There, teachers and students can find course media, add their own content, or upload and edit video assignments that are all managed by the Kaltura platform.

Kaltura's Cross-Campus Education Suite is available as a hosted service or as a self-hosted deployment.

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