Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Youtube EDU - Google as a world saver or world rule

A few weeks ago the new gateway to lectures, campus-tours, interviews with researches of more than 100 well-known universities and colleges was set up: Youtube EDU. Until now it consists only of videos of american institutions.
As I discovered Youtube is a subsidiary of Google. It's suspect to me that the division which realized or promote it is called "Happy learning" (?!). This reminds me of motivational trainings for managers.


Google's mission is "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". This is undoubtedly a positive concern but I am not so naive to be fully convinced of Google - a profit organization - as only social-oriented. In 2003 a New York Times Columnist asked the provoking question "Is Google God?". Bill Thomson at the BBC asked "Is Google too powerful?" - a question that I also prefer. Is Google too powerful? Xiudian Dai wrote an interesting article about Google in which he sums up several fact/ reasons. First, "nation-states might see Google’s search power as a threat to their autonomy. First, the autonomy of the nation-state declines due to the
fact that Google search reinforces the trend towards economic globalisation."

- just to publish the beginning of this posting - I have to deal with the details more closely. All I can say by now: I am concerned. I will put down my concerns here in the next days. At first I have to sort my thoughts. Moreover, it will take a few time to study the details ;)

15 comments:

B.-C. Kämper said...

Steffi seems to be a conspiracy geek, a rare species among librarians and information specialists, I thought. Her assumption that Youtube EDU is apparently run by an Orwellian Google division called "Happy learning" is very funny. I wonder what she would make out of other closes of business or introduction letters, e.g., "All the best", Enjoy yourself!, Have fun! etc.

Steffi_S. said...

who else is it running? I found this info on the Youtube-blog. (Moreover they have Youtube in their product list.) I am not against Youtube-edu, not at all. It is only interesting which organization stands behind it ;) Youtube-edu was only the introductory part of this posting. And well: I am not the only one who is questioning google's work. Google is the best search engine until now but I don't like what they are doing with private data and copyrighted material. I few days ago I was thinking about using spreadsheets so I read the FAQs, Terms of Use etc. Somewhere in their site Google is saying, they offer the services to us "because we love you" which sounds very strange for me!

B.-C. Kämper said...

Oh well ... Obadiah Greenberg, at the close of his blog entry that addressed YouTube users, wished you "Happy Learning" with YouTube EDU, that was all. He's from the Strategic Partnerships Team at YouTube. Try browsing what YouTube EDU offers! You might even find some resources to enhance your own information literacy.

I found it strange that a librarian would want to use a news item like the announcement of YouTube EDU which is certainly of relevance for higher education (and academic libraries as well) just as a hook for a little informed Google on the way to world domination rant.

Masters Dissertation said...

Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

Steffi_S. said...

Hello, thanks for your comment :) You are writing a Masters Dissertation? What's the topic of it? well, don't cite me ;) : I am a New Professional. Watch out what persons with a reputation (e.g. Stephen Abram, Lorcan Dempsey etc.) say. Moreover my english -which is my second language- is far from perfect ;)
I think Youtube.EDU is not that important -especially because you really get fast enough back to the normal Youtube. Why didn't they seperate Youtube.EDU from Youtube? that doesn't make sense! I would like to sugest other gateways: OER Commons (the materials are sorted into disciplines and the partners are the following) and OCW Finder.
Best regards, Steffi S.

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Steffi_S. said...

thx for your feedback - I don't know whether Youtube.EDU is growing and in which countries it is relevant. I have to check ;-)

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