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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Universities Are Schooling Tech Companies In Video

"It’s no secret that the ivory towers of academia don’t get much respect from the tech industry." according to Eric Burns, co-founder and CTO of Panopto.

Photo: TechCrunch

It’s become conventional wisdom that computer science degrees are out of date before graduates enter the workforce, and that MBA programs forgo developing practical leadership and entrepreneurship skills in favor of theory and rhetoric. Schools are chronically behind when it comes to developing the skills that graduates really need, it seems.

Unless, of course, they’re 10 years ahead.

Over the past decade, video technology has radically changed the way people communicate. Video conferencing and webcasting have been embraced by business to lower costs and shrink distances. But organizations that have realized the greatest business value from video aren’t businesses at all — they’re universities. In fact, the video solutions that universities have been using for over a decade are just now being adopted by their corporate counterparts.

Panopto was spun out of academia as a project that began at Carnegie Mellon University over a decade ago. What was originally created as a tool for recording, managing and searching university lectures at scale has evolved into a general-purpose video platform for sharing ideas and information across a range of industries.

Now, the innovations from higher education have spawned a fast-growing enterprise marketplace for video solutions, with businesses embracing video as a way to capture, organize and disseminate institutional knowledge. Off-the-shelf software like Camtasia, Brainshark, and KnowledgeVision are enabling companies to record multimedia presentations and on-screen demos, and share them internally from a centralized media library.
Some companies have even developed their own home-grown video management solutions. Microsoft famously spent $6 million to build its own video knowledge sharing portal. In spite of its high cost, Microsoft reported that the platform yielded $14 million in cost avoidance and an ROI of 560 percent.

What Universities Have…
One of the primary goals of higher education is to prepare individuals for the talent marketplace, helping students develop work-related skills while growing personally and intellectually. For most of the 2,300-year history of higher education, the Aristotelian lecture has been the standard — until recently, as new technologies have begun to offer models that produce better results.

Today, universities are using video to record lectures and “flip” their classrooms for increased interactivity, improved student-teacher communications, scalable distance learning, and dozens of other applications. The effects have been noteworthy. In video-enabled classrooms, test scores are up, failure rates are down, and even traditionally underserved groups like non-native speakers and students with disabilities are better equipped for success.
…And What Tech Companies Are Missing
Meanwhile, 55 percent of employers are looking to hire tech talent — and are often struggling to find the right candidates, as unemployment in the technology sector is down to a growth-throttling 3 percent. For many companies, this technical skills gap is a crisis that strikes at their most valuable growth driver and sustainable competitive differentiator: the “tribal knowledge” and subject matter expertise of their employees.

Rather than wait out the recruiting wars, businesses should look to the model already proven by universities. Video might just be the best tool organizations have to scale the knowledge of their experts, improve the flow of information, quickly ramp up new employees, and innovate more efficiently with their existing resources.
Increasingly, organizations are starting to seize the opportunity.
Read more... 

Additional resources 
Creating the Right Flipped Classroom Software - A Chat with Panopto's Eric Burns 

Source: TechCrunch (blog) and PanoptoVideo Channel (YouTube)