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Buyer’s Guide to Education Video Platforms 2016

If you don’t currently use a video platform to manage your college or university’s video content, it’s time to start. Here are the critical factor to think about when making a choice.

By Paul Riismandel

106574-Tablet-Library-145 Schools and educational organizations that have not yet implemented a video management strategy are feeling more pressure to do so every year. We live our lives online, and online life is infused with video at every turn. Teachers, and especially students, will use video as part of the learning process whether or not your organization is prepared to support it.

Beyond this fact, there are strong reasons to have a well-managed video strategy. Videos created by students and educators are valuable instructional assets but are easily lost when they are left unmanaged. There may also be privacy and compliance issues, particularly when minors, health information, or research subjects are involved. Copyright is another consideration, both with regard to your organization’s intellectual property rights and the proper stewardship of content that is licensed or utilized under fair use provisions. Simply put, if there is a video being used—and there most certainly is—it’s in your best interest to support and manage its creation, storage, distribution, and use. That’s where an online video platform (OVP) comes in.

This guide is intended to alert you to critical factors to consider when evaluating OVPs, from important platform features to the health and stability of your vendor.

Making a Wise Investment

An online video platform is a long-term investment and should be treated with the same kind of planning and consideration afforded other enterprise-level platforms. You want to choose a platform you can adopt and use for 5 to 10 years or more, one that will grow with your needs and keep pace with the online video marketplace.

Whether you choose to self-host or go to the cloud will impact your IT infrastructure—this might include new hardware, demands on your network, and additional labor from your IT staff. On top of that, it takes time and effort to create policies and workflows, train users, administer the platform, and make it work with other enterprise systems.

This is not an effort you want to repeat often. Moreover, there are costs associated with switching OVPs. Although online video is converging toward open standards, changing platforms requires moving asset catalogs between databases—rarely a straightforward task. While the codecs and formats of individual video assets might be broadly cross-compatible, the synchronization metadata that drives rich lecture capture presentations that combine video with slides, or other interactive elements, might not transfer so easily.


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