01 June 2007

Streaming Television

At least the Russians understood.

The 32 channels of free-to-air satellite services previously reticulated from UC around computer research networks the world over are no longer leaving the campus. Messages of support and encouragement have reached us from around Australia, the US, Canada, and Europe, including one message from Russia expressing their sadness at the lost opportunities the streams offered them in language teaching.

Why is it useful anyway?

These services are valuable at least for the following reasons, not just because we can (or could) stream 32 channels of live television around the world on reesearch networks.

  1. Language teaching is in crisis because their methods are too costly: we have the opportunity using the streaming services to provide media rich environments that when combined with focused academic support will make language learning more relevant, efficient and cost-effective.
  2. In Journalism, we provide exposure to the methods that the next generation of journalists will be using, not burdening them with the techniques of the past.
  3. In New Media, the technologies we are pioneering will, and do, provide effective alternative distribution opportunities, creating new distribution models and new industries for the content generation (Generation Content, like Generation X).
  4. In teaching we empower teachers to take the experiences of children out of the classroom and across the planet.
  5. For our overseas students we provide access to at least some form of window back home.
  6. Media Analysts can in an afternoon compare opinions from more than a dozen sources on world events.
  7. Lawyers have huge opportunities in rights management and regulation control.

It's about change, outward focus, engagement beyond the borders of our campus, our local community, our country.

Once we have the streams running here (which we still do), getting them to Puerto Rico and Moscow (and all points between on Research Networks) is trivial technically and doesn't "cost" anyone anything.