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204 comments

Awesome! (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843701)

By watching these, it will have the same effect on me as getting UC Berkeley degree!

(Except for the job offers and stuff.)

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843875)

I'm surprised the internet hasn't made us reexamine the entire nature of our higher education system. Is congregating people in one spot for four years to learn something really the best way to do it? Of course there are physical things that you need access to for a lot of classes, but we could be looking at a future where education is a lot more accessible, transparent, and open. If you could sit in on lectures and classes just because they interest you, there may be a lot more people learning things and getting exposed to knowledge they otherwise wouldn't have. You're right that there would need to be some way to certify and verify things, and that's really the main strength of the current system. I can't help but thinking there's got to be a better way. But we're definitely not there yet, and old institutions die hard. In some ways we're actually moving away from this ideal, college is getting more and more expensive and the State is helping out less and less.

Whenever you make education more widely available you improve all aspects of society, so it's in everyone's interest to be able to do something like this. Is progress being held back simply because of technological hurdles or is there elitism and old-thinking that's keeping the system from evolving?

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843973)

I'm all for making this kind of material publicly accessible. If someobdy wants to watch these lectures, it's great that they'll be able to do that from the comfort of anywhere there's a computer and network connection.

As a Berkeley grad though, I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through. Especially in Computer Science, most of the lectures probably didn't differ a whole lot in content or form from those taught at other less prestigious institutions. Most of what I learned came from being surrounded by other driven students in a unique environment and completing challenging assignments. In particular, the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner.

The Berkeley Advantage (5, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844103)

As a Berkeley grad though, I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through. Especially in Computer Science, most of the lectures probably didn't differ a whole lot in content or form from those taught at other less prestigious institutions. Most of what I learned came from being surrounded by other driven students in a unique environment and completing challenging assignments. In particular, the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner.

Blah blah blah, all code for: "You can't take LSD over the Internet."

;)

Re:The Berkeley Advantage (1)

c_sd_m (995261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844397)

As a Berkeley grad though, I generally wouldn't attribute very much of the value of my education there to lectures I sat (or slept) through. Especially in Computer Science, most of the lectures probably didn't differ a whole lot in content or form from those taught at other less prestigious institutions. Most of what I learned came from being surrounded by other driven students in a unique environment and completing challenging assignments. In particular, the first of those is all but impossible to capture in an online manner.
Blah blah blah, all code for: "You can't make business contacts over the Internet."
There, FTFY. Often it's not what you know, but who you know (or it's what you know if you know someone).

Re:The Berkeley Advantage (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20845151)

Blah blah blah, all code for: "You can't take LSD over the Internet."
Clearly you're visiting the wrong websites.

Re:Awesome! (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844849)

Yes, this is awesome. I plan on getting a couple degrees from MIT, and now Berkley, but I'm busy downloading the Transformers. I need another connection.

Re:Awesome! (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844015)

It will may surprise lots of nerds (stupid ones anyway) that most people don't WANT to sit at a computer all day for years and years. Yes, people want to get together in a physical location to live and learn, is that really so hard to understand? I sure as hell wouldn't want classes on the computer. My social skills would be even with Milton's [cracked.com], and I'd probably be a slashdot troll by now.

Re:Awesome! (2, Interesting)

GnarlyDoug (1109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844297)

That's a really narrow view on your part. There are a lot of people who would love to get an education. But they can't afford it. Or they can't fit it into a schedule because they need to work strange hours to feed thier kids. Or they live somewhere where a college isn't handy. Or, or, or...

This is the start of education for the masses. Books are nice, but they don't convey enough information of certain types. The lectures will help go beyond that. Even barely literate people will be able to use these to learn. It will also be a huge boon to people with dyslexia and other issues. Even more important is the time-shifting aspect. Learn when you have time. Thanks to this trend a lot of people who might not have otherwise been able to get access to this type of education will now be able to do so. In time they'll probably be able to take tests as well and for very little money get a degree at their own pace and within the needs of their own life.

The exciting thing about this is that it will actually allow the internet to do something really great. Provide effective, free, and high quality education to ANYONE who can get a computer and an internet connection. Which is rapidly becoming almost everybody in the world.

Re:Awesome! (1)

elysiuan (762931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844527)

They said all the same things about television and we see how that's worked out.

Sadly for much of the "masses", they do not value education and do not want anything to do with it.

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

GnarlyDoug (1109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844895)

The fact that a handful of people said that about TV has what to say about this argument? The technologies aren't even remotely similar. Also, unlike with TV, we are already seeing that the educational possibilities are beginning to emerge on their own. It's not ivory tower speak. It's happening.

Posting content to the internet is basically free and mostly unregulated. The content is available on demand. The internet also provides a means for feedback, chatting, and community discussions about the content to instantly spring up.

Broadcasting on the airwaves is regulated by governmental monopolies and is a scarce commodity. It is regulated, censored, and horribly expensive. No ability for feedback loops or interaction.

The internet reduces the cost of transmitting, storing, and replicating all forms of information to almost zero. Education is mainly a form of information. That is why it will become a tool of education. Even if only 0.1% are interested in using it that way, it will provide that function.

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844529)

I'm sorry, but I really don't see how anyone is going to learn something from a non-interactive lecture on the internet that they couldn't learn from a book in a library.

Anything that can be said in a lecture can be written in a book. Anything that can be drawn on the board or presented on an overhead projector can be presented in a book.

Education doesn't come from sitting for lectures. At best the lectures provide the very most basic information to start the learning process. The real learning happens from interaction, assignments, and studying for tests. The value of a university isn't the lectures, it's the resources available to someone when they don't understand something they're studying. Whether that's classmates learning the same things at the same time, or expert professors and grad students (TAs) available through recitations or office hours, it's not recorded lectures and textbooks.

Re:Awesome! (3, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844125)

These will serve multiple purposes, the most common one likely being a bunch of kids sitting around a table working on homework late at night and they get to a problem or analysis and one asks, "What did the prof say about this?", they bop online, fast-forward through the lecture, and listen again to the professor's wise words.

If you miss a class, you can view the lecture online.

Attending a centralized campus doesn't work for everyone, and online lectures are a good thing for full-timers. But I wouldn't TRADE one for the other -- attending college is like being hand-held into the real world in terms of responsibility (doing your own laundry), being social (interacting with peers), and building relationships (both friendly and business).

Re:Awesome! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844173)

Is congregating people in one spot for four years to learn something really the best way to do it?

Yes. If by "learn something" you mean "get a college education", that is; if you mean "learn some specific, limited, subject" then no.

Re:Awesome! (3, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844855)

Have you not heard of the Open University that is run by the BBC? [open.ac.uk]. You an cregister for the course, get the course materials sent to you by post, and the lectures would be broadcast on TV at the odd hours that no-one else would be watching. In those days, the main channels only started at 9.00am for school programming, and closed down at 12.00pm . Between those hours , Open University lectures would be broadcast, and repeated on the weekends. That allowed people to work their day jobs and study part-time, even more so if they had VCR.

But now, the matierals are easier to distribute. From their website:

The course materials

We use a variety of media to help you learn. Your course may use any of the following different media that you will use from home (or wherever you choose to study):

        * printed course materials,
        * set books,
        * audio cassettes,
        * video cassettes,
        * TV programmes,
        * cd-rom/software,
        * web site,
        * home experiment kit.


When Saturday morning kid's TV was boring, you could just change channels and watch presentation on mobius strips, fitting cubes into spheres, coastal erosion, the dangers of matching the harmonics of airplane engines/wings, bridges and wind speed, lasers and travel at relativistic light speeds.

Re:Awesome! (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845021)

MIT has a similar program and if I remember correctly Berkely already had this setup going, just running off of their own servers. This is just a cheaper(for them) version of the same thing.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845097)

By watching these, you will get all of the lecture without any of the stinky Berkley body oder!

How long will that be free? (2, Insightful)

asklepius (456552) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843719)

You would think that YouTube would balk at being the distributor for a university. Will they try and make money with this?

Re:How long will that be free? (1)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843833)

Why on Earth would they balk at that? YouTube is trying to make money out of people watching videos for free, via advertising. This is their business plan.

Re:How long will that be free? (2, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843845)

You would think that YouTube would balk at being the distributor for a university.
Why? They don't mind being the distributor for thousands of independent creators... nor do they mind being the distributor for the numerous "web TV shows" that have official YouTube channels.

Will they try and make money with this?
Of course they will. They'll apply the same business model that they are applying to all content uploaded to YouTube... Which is, apparently, to generate a huge community of video-posters and video-watchers, and then to make money off of promoted videos and selective advertisements.

I fail to see how a university uploading videos that people want to watch is any different from anyone else uploading videos that people want to watch.

Re:How long will that be free? (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843939)

I fail to see how a university uploading videos that people want to watch is any different from anyone else uploading videos that people want to watch.
I fail to see why a university wants to upload their material to YouTube. That way they no longer have any control over the material. Surely they could have hosted it on their own network.

Re:How long will that be free? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844011)

This is the internet- as soon as you post it anywhere you no longer have control. Hell, I still have lecture notes from every ECE class at UIUC that was posted on the school intranet before they started password protecting classes to "control their IP".

Re:How long will that be free? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844541)

I fail to see why a university wants to upload their material to YouTube.


Maybe they want to use their servers?


they no longer have any control over the material. Surely they could have hosted it on their own network.


Never mind that, if it is in a digital form, in no time at all someone will put it into a P2P system somewhere.

Re:How long will that be free? (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845067)

Never mind that, if it is in a digital form, in no time at all someone will put it into a P2P system somewhere.
That is not the same ! When I download it through P2P, I know the information is 'third hand', meaning it could be anything. When I read that a university put it on YouTube, I have some expectation that the content has a certain quality. Suppose someone wants to have a little fun and puts lectures of his won on YouTube pretending to be from UC Berkeley. If I were a university director I would want to stay away from any of that. Actually I wouldn't want to be associated with YouTube at all, being a respected university, but maybe the general image of YouTube is different than mine. To me it's mostly a fun place for soccer replays, surfers and teenage popstars.

Free! Free! FREEEEE! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844739)

Since when has YouTube been about making money? Originally, they were about come up with technology that was so ridiculously kewl that Google couldn't stop themselves from buying them out. Now, like most of Google, YouTube is just about coming up with technology that's ridiculously kewl. Google gets huge profits from its keyword advertising, which subsidizes all the other money-losing operations. Sometimes they go through the motions of trying to make the other business profitable, but they don't really have any incentive to do this: Page, Brin, and Schmidt have a voting majority of shares, and don't really answer to the other stockholders.

Good for them (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843725)

Free sharing of knowledge will only help create more and better engineers and scientists. MIT does something similar as well- at least outlines, and sometimes full lecture notes and videos are available at http://ocw.mit.edu/ [mit.edu] for almost all their courses.

Re:Good for them (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843913)

Actually, that's what universities are about. Or were, rather. Free flow of information and research based on the findings of those before you. Standing on the shoulders of giants and such.

Today, few universities can really afford sharing and distributing their research. It usually belongs to someone else.

Re:Good for them (4, Interesting)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844247)

Yes, good point. I've used the MIT course syllabi for for teaching myself a few topics needed for programming, and they have, on occasion, been very helpful. Harvard streams all its lectures so we could watch them in our dorm rooms, but they were not released outside of the firewall.

Much as I would like to think that releasing video lectures will make people tune in on their Saturday night and become wonderfully educated citizens, I think this will be an evolutionary tool for a (relatively) niche market. Keep in mind that a vast repository of knowledge is already locally available for free for modest effort at your local library, in book and video forms, and look how masses of people are beating down doors to get in there.

Nevertheless, I do feel the possibilities are large, and a few immediate points come to mind:

- A complete (spoken) language course on Youtube / web for free would be very valuable. I could easily imagine sitting down for many hours watching a series of these and emerging with conversational language. This would be very useful prior to a planned trip so you could hit the ground running.

- Courses are very good at integrating study tools for a topic. If you try to learn calculus by picking up a book, you can probably do it. However more complex / scattered topics (Renaissance painting in Italy, Advanced concepts in cryptography, etc.) are very easily done using lectures plus book supplementation to guide one so you don't get lost / swamped in the topic.

Personally, I can't wait for video lectures to become freely available. I watched Andrew Morton at Google [google.com] on Google Video as part of the speaker series, and found it quite interesting. However, I'm a geek, and you probably are too.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844969)

In the rural environment I find myself in the local library is ten miles away and doesn't include any textbooks. As I am able to scrape together the money I purchase textbooks for the subjects that I seek to study (mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science) when I cannot find suitable texts under free licenses online, but I certainly would appreciate free lectures, especially for subjects I might not otherwise study due to financial constraints. Of course videos take a lot of time to transfer via dial-up, but beggars cannot afford to be choosers.

I don't know how common my position is, though, so I don't mean to imply that it would be the most popular venue in the world. I would find it very useful, though.

Re:Good for them (2, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845251)

Keep in mind that a vast repository of knowledge is already locally available for free for modest effort at your local library

Have you been to a public library recently? The largest in my state doesn't even have any journal subscriptions. I know the quality varies from place to place, but a fairly high percentage of them are struggling along with almost no budget at this point.

FP? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843775)

Frisky pornsftar

lolol fp fp fp fap fap

Wardrobe! (2, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843815)

This is really great of them (even the podcasts they used to have were terrific) but they really need to get a fashion consultant to work on some of those professors...

Clicking around randomly, I had to laugh at the attendance [youtube.com] for Chemistry 3B, lecture 21. Yeah, that's about par for the course for Orgo that late in the term.

Re:Wardrobe! (1)

calcapt (975466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844159)

I think a friend of mine took that class last spring. Vollhardt, the professor teaching the course, wrote the book and pretty much expected everyone to know everything he had included in the text. If you watch a little into the video, you see that the average of the midterm they just took was around 100 out of 250 points. Based on how the class did, I wouldn't blame them for not going to class =P. The capacity of that room they're in (Pimentel) is around 500, too. Around 300 were probably enrolled, and, hah, it looks like less than 1/10 of that number showed up.

I'd also like to point out that this isn't the norm for attendance; I took the course with Professor Ellman, and his classes were ALWAYS filled to the brim.

Re:Wardrobe! (1)

kimble3 (736268) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844797)

Speaking of Podcasts... why don't they just release them as a video podcast? That would be much more useful...

Grade inflation! (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845187)

Notice how the exam average is 98/240, yet I guarantee that about 90% of the students got an A/A- on their transcript.

This is part of the reason that a science degree from a "top" school means shit these days. That, and the fact that you could get a Biochem degree from a place like that with just three mandatory wet-lab courses.

Re:Wardrobe! (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845311)

They could adopt this [wikipedia.org] idea.

Replacing the profs with hot naked swimsuit models solves the attrition rate, too.

Bob's your uncle.

Has anyone here actually tried (4, Insightful)

MeditationSensation (1121241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843823)

educating themselves with all this online courseware stuff? Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject. But I could be wrong.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843925)

I have. In the end, you have to buy the course books- the lecture notes just aren't detailed enough. They're an aid more than a main source, and they were written with that purpose in mind. Other than that, its no more difficult than any other way of learning from books. The ability to talk to fellow students and figure stuff out is missed (although replacable with web forums as underused as that idea is), but definitely doable. As for talking with professors- I don't think I ever did that in my undergrad, so for me its not missed.

I'm reading the course book for MIT's signal analysis course now. I'm actually understanding the concept of Fourier transforms better now than I did in college with a professor teaching it- the book actually explains the math, something my prof never did.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844133)

We had a really good workbook of all things when we did Fourier in my controls class. Going back to third grade on it did well for my comprehension.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844281)

I can see that. My aha moment was when the book introduced the transform in terms of Fourier series (which I can't prove, but understand) and showed step by step how X(jw) was a curve on which all a_k were related, and that as w got smaller, a_k became more frequent samples of the curve (with the extreme case being w being infinitely small and the result of that being an integral over X(jw)). Back in college I got the end formula and no real explanation about this vague "frequency domain" that we suddenly needed to start calculating (in the last 4 weeks of the course, actually using that domain and learning its useful properties was the next course, and not required for compEs (I stayed the hell away from it).

I think a lot of concepts in engineering might be better taught by that approach- we learn derivatives by starting with taking shrinking dx's and calculating slopes, then learn (h(x+dx)-h(x))/dx, then learn all the quickie ways. We learn integrals by starting with Riemann sums and later learning quickie methods. So why do so many engineering textbooks and classes decide to just dump formulas on you instead?

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844021)

educating themselves with all this online courseware stuff? Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject.
I agree... and I don't think anyone is claiming otherwise.

"Getting a degree" is so much more than just sitting in on lectures. Labwork, discussions with professors (and other students), libraries, and many other things act together to shape a person's education.

The posting of these lectures is important, however, in other ways. First of all it's a nice convenience for the students taking those courses: they can review lectures without worrying about making a personal audio recording. But it's also a great resource for interested hobbyists, professionals who need to refresh their memory, specialists in a particular fields who want to learn some of the basics of some other field, and so on. I can even imagine young interested students using such lectures to get a "head start" on subjects they are passionate about (e.g. if they find the curriculum in their high school lacking), or students who cannot afford a conventional education using those videos (along with some other resources and lots of hard work) to get up to speed on a subject matter.

Depends (4, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844055)

Seems to me like most people would still need the oversight of having papers due, the classrooms discussions, and the 1-on-1 talks with professors to get the most out of a subject.

For a course that I have to take - yes. For something that I'm really interested in - No.

I wish I can remember the term, but there's this style of teaching/learning that's called something like Discovery Learning - I think. Anyway, here's an example of how it works and this is how I learn(ed) computer science (I'm 42 and always learning) in a nutshell:

I see something, an algorithm, a piece of code in a language I've never seen before, whatever. I then say to myself, "WTF is that! I have to find out!" I then Google for it and start reading up on it. When I was a kid and learning how to program graphics, I started teaching myself geometry and trigonometry so I could eventually get the Apple II to draw graphics. The information has stuck with me until this day. Now, the grammar that I had to learn hasn't - as if you couldn't tell.

I really think if our education system got away from the rote learning and drills and allowed kids to learn and have fun at it - it can be fun when you are personally discovering something - our education would greatly improve.

Re:Depends (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844733)

For that to work, we need to figure out how to end anti-intellectualism. If children are forced to choose between learning and being popular, many will choose to be popular, and their education will suffer; they will not take the time to learn and discover things on their own because it will be seen as "uncool". Without motivation for self-directed learning, rote learning is pretty much the only option left.

I was lucky. My parents provided an environment that was conducive to what you describe as Discovery Learning, at home where it would have little impact on my social standing; as a result I generally didn't have to make that choice. For example, my dad showed me the basics of an early version of Lotus 1-2-3 when I was 5 years old. He then provided the reference materials and encouragement I needed to teach myself how to do things with Lotus 1-2-3 that even he didn't know at the time. (And because my parents had taught me to read at age 3, I was able to use those references without much help.)

The question of how to create such an environment in a school is difficult to answer, though. (And I'm not convinced that home-schooling is the answer either, or at least the entire answer. What happens with children of parents that are not well educated?) Smaller classes certainly help, but that means hiring more teachers and attracting more people to the teaching profession. That in turn requires spending more money, both on existing teachers and new ones, and where is that money going to come from?

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844077)

I've watched the videos [mit.edu] that go with the SICP book, and learned quite a bit from them.

I'm sure I would have gotten more out of actually taking the class, but the videos alone were still helpful.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844081)

It won't supersede "classical style" education, but it can broaden the horizon of students (and lecturers/professors).

Now, I have the opportunity to (kind of) attend a talk of Sergey Brin (as in TFA) irrespective time and place. I mean, I could even point one of this talks/lectures out to my professor/supervisor and discuss it with him and thus combine the benefits of both kinds of knowledge transfer.

Science without access to knowledge is impossible. So this is a good development.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844123)

this is why there is no real threat for a university to do this... this is only part of a proper education.

Re:Has anyone here actually tried (1)

disckitty (681847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844299)

Having classroom discussions and 1-on-1 talks is not conducive to getting undergrads (and their money) in and out of university as quickly as possible. These have long since gone the way of the dodo, unless you're that 1% that goes to talk to the prof or you're in an arts program. Its pitiful how little question time and exploration actually seems to occur in universities. The instructors can't be bothered as it wastes time they'd rather spend doing something else, and the students can't be bothered as they just want their piece of paper.


Papers due is still a requirement, but that can be done and submitted online. Heck, discussions (har har, should they actually occur) could also be done via web conferencing, web cams, forums, etc.


Thinking about it further, this is fantastic for Berkley. Not only can they increase enrollment by a huge amount (don't need to worry about class size, if they're all watching it from their own home), but the instructors can spend either more time doing their research (less likely) or spend more time marking all the assignments for the increased number of students (more likely). Ah, the commercialization of education at its best. (#$!?!?!%) Best to suppress inquisitive natures. Perhaps its also part-political motivation in that case?

Re: Oversight less necessary (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844505)

I respectfully disagree.

The big bucks used to pay for the Professor's authenticity to prevent slick talkers from deluding themselves or others about their subject knowledge.

I have thought that education is a dormant bubble that will shake the world when it pops. All you need is attestation services to prove you have learned the subject.

I know that *some* students thrive on the pressure of a deadline, but that would be a service to that student, not a core necessity. I had one great professor who used a brilliant form of inverse psychology on one of our early classes. Something to the effect of:

"Our Registrar has deposited your check, so I have all the leverage I need. While I care about each of you, I could care less about rules, because rules do not equal learning. For the minimalists of you out there, here is : The book, my syllabus outline, the four test dates, the three paper spec lists, and $10 in supplies. Place those objects on my desk on the dates listed. Find me after the final so we can have lunch.

I can answer a few questions in class. For those who need extensive answers, these are my office hours. Now go home. Since we all know the first day of class is a joke, I won't waste my time. See you on Thursday with chapters 1-3 read because they are also a joke. The best cafeteria Pizza is between 4:45 and 5:00 before the seniors get out of seminar. Bye."

I have done something similar. (1)

baileydau (1037622) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845115)

I did part of my first degree (Science - Chemistry) as an internal student and part as an external student. I did my entire Graduate Diploma of IT as an external student.

As an external student (at least with the university I studied through), you receive the lecture notes at the start of semester, which are essentially what the lecturer is presenting to the internal students. You also need the same textbooks etc as the internal students.

In reality, even when you attend the actual lecture, the lecturer is rehashing the text books anyway. When I was an internal student, you tended to purchase the lecture notes anyway, as it was a great way to ensure you didn't miss anything. I see these videos as something similar.

BTW isn't the definition of a lecture "a method of transferring the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the student, without passing through the minds of either"
If you aren't so busy scribbling down stuff during the lecture, you may actually learn something...

There were still tutorials (online / teleconferences etc). They also encouraged students in the same areas to form study groups to help each other along.

Some subjects also had "residential schools", which were a week or so each semester on campus where you would do practicals (labs), have tutorials etc.

It's definitely not a learning style that suits everyone, but if it works for you, it's a great way to do it.

Netcraft confirms it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843829)

10 out of 10 slashdot users have had gay sex with one or more clowns.

goatse [goatse.ch]

I'll be taking... (3, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843861)

Sleeping Kittens 101
Girls Fighting Girls 273: Advanced Techniques
I Love Turtles Symposium

The future looks bright!

Hey! What do you think you're doing? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843867)

The internet wasn't created to distribute information, dammit!

Re:Hey! What do you think you're doing? (1)

AxoltAl (1155115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844079)

The internet wasn't created to distribute information, dammit!
Hey, this is Slashdot, most posters got their sex education from the internet, at the very least...

Attendance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843881)

So why attend class?

Re:Attendance (1)

c_sd_m (995261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843977)

So why attend class?

Why videotape lectures, all of the information is in the books (and journal articles) in the library waiting for you? Why have tutorials (that students do surprisingly attend) when all the material was covered in the lectures and is in the textbook?

Re:Attendance (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844019)

Because, depending on the professor, attendance might still be mandatory to get the coveted piece of paper at the end.

Rewind button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843893)

I wish I had this back at MIT so I could figure out what Prof. Bekefi was saying.

Re:Rewind button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844091)

iirc, he kept saying "You there, in the back! For the last time, get out of my lecture! You didn't get into MIT, so stop telling people that you did."

Re:Rewind button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844287)

He died about 8 years ago. Too bad, I really liked that guy.

awesome idea (1)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843899)

i'd love to see a lecture or 2 on a subject i'm curious about. I'm out of college but watching a lecture on psychology or history or whatever strikes my interest would be great.

Elegy for *BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20843909)

Elegy For *BSD

I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but *BSD is dying.

Also positive for good lecturers... (2, Insightful)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843937)

...since this will allow students to evaluate their lecturing style in addition to the other aspects that they consider when choosing a course. Personally I would have taken a harder calculus class if could have had another better lecturer. And conversely there are a few non-core courses that I would have dropped if I'd seen the way they were taught.

And hopefully in the end it will lead to a somewhat higher standard in lectures all over in the long run even if there are some that will never change.

Last gasp before the masses realize... (2, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20843955)

Berkeley is now using YouTube as an important teaching tool.


I wonder if this is the last gasp before the masses realize...

If you need to pay your own way though college (like I did), you're much better off buying 100- and 200-level credits at the local junior college and saving your money for the 300+ level stuff universities specialize in. (The teaching quality of 100/200's in the junior colleges is usually better than that at universities too - you get an actual teacher with a masters who came up through the high school ranks instead of some useless grad student who's stuck with you because he/she can't get a job.)

Re:Last gasp before the masses realize... (0)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844053)

In some subject, and some schools, yes. But the top colleges do teach even the low level courses in a different way. Look at MIT's calculus course- far more about the theoretical underpinings of calculus than just endless differentiations. While you do get the credits far cheaper the junior college way, you don't learn as much.

Still a better value for the dollar... (3, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844333)

But the top colleges do teach even the low level courses in a different way.


Not sure about that - I picked up my bad attitude at Duke U, and they like to think of themselves as a "top" school. (Maybe I should have accepted MIT's invitation instead.)

Look at MIT's calculus course- far more about the theoretical underpinings of calculus than just endless differentiations. While you do get the credits far cheaper the junior college way, you don't learn as much.


I suppose that might be marginally useful if you're going to get a doctorate in math someday, but I was just a lowly engineering major trying to get on with life without picking up student loan debt. If I was interested in the bells and whistles, I could have gone to the local bookstore and picked up a book on the history of math, mathematicians, etc.

Instead, I was self-funded and debt-free a year out of college: the kind of accomplishment that gets employers' attention when competing with lightweights who coasted through college on their parents' dollar.

Re:Still a better value for the dollar... (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844637)

I am an engineer, and utterly uninterested in a doctorate in math. I also paid my own way, and thanks to doing 2 years of college concurrent with high school debt free the moment I left campus (albeit flat broke and with no car). I wish my courses did more of the theoretical underpinings. You can have a 50 dollar calculator solve a derivative for you. The understanding of how those formulas are derived, why they work, and the ability to think that way and apply them to things you learn later is priceless. That kind of problem solving ability and way of looking at things that I've found with study post college is worth more than all my college classes combined.

Re:Last gasp before the masses realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844183)

The teaching quality of 100/200's in the junior colleges is usually better than that at universities too - you get an actual teacher with a masters who came up through the high school ranks instead of some useless grad student who's stuck with you because he/she can't get a job.
I disagree, I've done both with mixed results. I went to one state university with universally good lecturers and half/half good/bad TA's. I ran out of money and went to a small college with great results, small classes. Now I have to go to a bigger community college for class variety and the lecturer quality is terrible. I suspect their pay is terrible, most of them have real jobs and do this on the side for reasons I can't figure out because most of them seem to not like it so much.

Re:Last gasp before the masses realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844219)

Actually, there are class-based constraints on transfer from a junior to a regular university, at least in California. You can only transfer upon completion of a very specific set of classes, and that means taking _anything_ elective will hold back transfer. I was trying to help a friend attend my university and the manager basically said she could not transfer because she did not have enough correct credits. period. It _may_ have been possible for her to apply with just an SAT score and high school transcript (but thats the problem, she was a young dyke from FL that dropped out of school). Her crime? Taking two art classes. She wanted to get an art degree...and she may have even needed a portfolio for admission to the university's art dept.

Anyways, considering that most people do not know what they really want to do and/or take work related electives at a junior college, they are held back for quite some time before they can transfer to a full university--because only general requirements count toward the transfer. In addition, they transfer in to all the 3rd and 4th "year" classes with no experience with university level work. Can you imagine taking 2+ years of core coursework without anything in your possible degree? I can't...course i did two degrees in three years.

Anyway, at least in california, there are clear effects of the junior college on preparedness for those later courses and there are clearly classist controls that limit transfers.

Re:Last gasp before the masses realize... (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844973)

That's weird. What you described is almost the opposite of what I know. There may be some special circumstances to your friends case, maybe something about the particular schools that she's transferring from and to, but in general, I find the whole transfer process from Community College to State University in California to be fairly open.

What they were probably trying to convey was that she couldn't transfer in as a Junior with the specific credits she had or the amount of credits she had, and would have to apply as a Freshman instead, or take more classes at the Community College to fulfill the requirements. In order to transfer as a Junior, you have to have about 60 credits total completed, and have to fulfill certain mostly very general subject area requirements, but they certainly wouldn't block anyone because they took some art classes.

If this happened recently, have your friend read the community college catalog sections regarding "IGETC" or the California State "Breadth" transfer tracks (or search the web for those, although usually it's specific to the particular community college). That should pretty much have all the requirements spelled out in detail.

Free Lectures on iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844029)

For a while, there have been free video and audio podcasts available on iTunes from several universities, including MIT. The quality is better than Youtube and you can easily download it and take it places.

Streaming (!= Copy protection) (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844039)

I really wish that Youtube would do as Google video has done, and provide a direct download link for the FLV in addition to streaming it, for several reasons:
  1. On "thin" connections, streaming simply doesn't work, but downloading does. Sure, it may take longer to download than it takes to watch - that's what background downloads are for.
  2. For something like a lecture, I want to be able to watch them multiple times, in case I miss something.
  3. I want the option of watching when I am not connected - if I can download it I can put it on my N800 or my phone.

Folks: streaming is NOT a form of copy protection. Nor is using Javascript to compose the video URL so that things like VideoDownloader can't parse it. You aren't making saving the video impossible - just difficult.

Re:Streaming (!= Copy protection) (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844109)

it's not like it is hard to get the flv.

They want you to come back to their site to see the advertisements. Why should they make it easy for you to not?

Re:Streaming (!= Copy protection) (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844509)

I agree with your sentiment but to work around the slow connection issues I just pause after a second and let the whole thing come down before I hit play.

Re:Streaming (!= Copy protection) (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845219)

The video files should be availible in flv format in your browser cache. Also, if you want to avoid having to look into cache, you can use a user javascript to insert a download link directly into the page, using opera (Set the javascript under site preferences/scripting) or firefox (using the greasemonkey extension). A very simple working youtube userscript can be found at http://www.openjs.com/scripts/greasemonkey/download_youtube_videos/ [openjs.com]

The only problem is if your mobile doesn't support the flv format. In that case you would have to reencode the video before loading it onto the mobile phone. That is beyond this post though.

What about Google Video? (1)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844041)

I'd think that would be a better choice..... YouTube is nice but I want to be able to download the lectures and watch them on my own time. Not everyone has 24/7 high-speed internet access. I'd love to have high quality videos that I can watch offline.... converting YouTube flash videos to another format for offline storage is going to be annoying.

Berkeley Webcasts (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844043)

UC Berkeley has been webcasting their classes for several years now. http://webcast.berkeley.edu/ [berkeley.edu] It looks like they're just offloading the storage and network to youtube now.

American Universities (0)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844059)

Berkley students are lucky to go to an American university.

In Soviet Russia, Full lectures post YOU on youtube.

w00t! (1)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844067)

Of course, it's not the equivalent of a Berkeley education or anything remotely close to it. But i

This seems to be part of a trend; I know some scientific journals are considering putting their articles online for all to read, instead of charging exorbitant subscription fees like they do now.

I'd like to see old lectures online, too--watching Richard Feynman lecture on physics would be too cool for words.

Re:w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20844177)

DOH! Typo. My bad.

An excellent use of available resources (1)

DaveRexel (887813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844117)

1- For the uni, just shoot the vid and upload it 2- For the student, just fire up the browser to watch x- benefits för all concerned y- profit! if x then y endif

stanford? (1)

mrmrmr50 (891699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844205)

thanks to berkeley! I'm still miffed at Stanford, Stanford has decided to go I-pod despite 20% unix pc on campus ( princeton college review 2007). MIT 98% unix.

Has anyone watched (1)

XMcGyver (1164999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844241)

the sample Youtube video? I now remember why I got so much sleep in my university years... zzzzzz

We need good business courses (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844501)

Looking for free business, marketing and so on courses on YouTube (or the entire Internet) just turns up "work from home" scams and dubious paid courses by various "gurus". Not cool.

If you know any good courses in this range of study, please share links.

Glass half empty posts (1)

GnarlyDoug (1109205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844511)

I see a lot of posts that basically point out that:

1: This won't take the place of real fact to face interaction.

2: You still won't get the benefit of having a degree.

3: The lectures really aren't complete without the notes.

4: This will probably mainly benefit people taking the class.

All those points are true for now. But they miss the real point. This is the start of a new, disruptive technology. In time there will be massess of these courses available and their will be much more comprehensive infrastructures around providing them than we have now. This is just a hint of what is to come.

For those who claim that books do just fine, my answer is no they don't. They are static, they do not convey certain types of information well, and people are geared to learn from people. While not truly the same as true face to face instruction, this approach is much closer, and complements reading very well.

In other words, education is on a path to becoming mostly or wholly free, of high quality, and disconnected from time, place, circumstances, and social class. This is part of a larger process of the internet becoming not just an engine for entertainment and commercial sales. It is starting to becoming an engine for moving high density, high quality information around, namely knowledge.

Today? time a little off. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844655)

Today marks the first time a university has made full course lecture available via the popular video sharing site.

Maybe they call today new simply because they transfered the videos from Google Video to You Tube, another popular sharing site. I have already watched the entire Physics for Future Presidents series about 6 months ago.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Physics+for+future [google.com]

Why is a move from Google Video to You Tube such a big deal?

Re:Today? time a little off. (1)

Beolach (518512) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844805)

> Why is a move from Google Video to You Tube such a big deal?

IMO the good news is that "Berkeley said it will continue to expand the offering." I agree that YouTube vs. Google Video is pretty pointless, but if UC Berkeley has decided that their general policy should be to make ALL, not just a few selected, of their course lectures freely & easily available online, then I definitely think it newsworthy. Of course, TFA doesn't say they're going that far, but "continue to expand" is good.

Continuing slashdot tradition... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844801)

I will now proceed to complain about how these videos were actually posted a month ago. Typical /., posting stories a month later. How dare they bring something cool and interesting to my attention!?

As a Berkeley Student... (3, Interesting)

PAKnightPA (955602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20844879)

As a Berkeley Student, the first thing I thought was YES! Now I don't have to go to class. But seriously, this is why I really like UC Berkeley. They are a public school and seem to really take that to heart. While they wont give any schmuck a degree, they are funded in large part by the taxpayers so why shouldnt anyone be able to take advantage of what they have to offer?

Open Education Rules! (1)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845111)

I love the open minded thinking of these top universities that actually makes Open Education works. It really is a great source of knowledge to people like me who don't have good enough results and don't have enough money to enter a good university.

I live in Malaysia, and I can never stop appreciating how the Internet and Information Technology led to the me today. During high school I bought alot of pirated CDs that contains ebook for computing. Those CD actually costed alot of money but relatively still hundred times cheaper than just one original book. That was how I started to learn programming, and in my region there was no library or even book shops that had these intermediate programming books. Today I rely heavily on bittorrent and other sources to download pirated ebooks from broadband, and I know much more than what has been teaching in my university.

I realise how powerful knowledge is, and how sux the current education is that produces graduates with good results but little knowledge. Why do we have to get a good result to enter a good university? Why do we have to memorize rubbish and attend specialized tution just to get good grade in examination? Why do we have to spend so much money to get a good education? Why can't we learn the thing we want just because we don't get good results? Why do we need to spend so much money to learn what we want?

If it wasn't these ebooks that educated me, I would be just started learning "what is a loop?" as my other friends do in their first year of university, I wouldn't know the philosophy of Open Source, I wouldn't know how much things is out there waiting for me to learn, and I wouldn't know much enough to care of reading in slashdot.

If Open Education really reached the level of Open Source, then anyone can benifit much more than what I benifited. Education DO need to have the same openess as Open Source.

Of course universities is more than just learning stuff, and it's more of an exposure, but we shouldn't limit the opportunity of learning. And there is some courses that can only be learned through university, such as engineering, doctor and language. But for courses like science and computing we do can gain 90% of the knowledge through Open Education.

already available on UC Berkeley website (5, Informative)

Komi (89040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20845237)

These are already available on the UCB site [berkeley.edu]. I do like the YouTube format better, but the selection from the Berkeley site is currently larger. They have some great analog transistor design classes there.
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