As we look back at the top stories of 2012 in the area of education, it’s clear that MOOCs(massive open online courses) have garnered the most attention. For those who are unfamiliar with them, MOOCs typically consist of one or a handful of instructors teaching tens of thousands or in some cases hundreds of thousands of students at a time online, for free.
While MOOCs might come to play an important role in the coming decades, one of the more pressing issues when it comes to online education is the dearth of online content from professors at colleges and universities around United States.
I am primarily referring to recorded video or audio lectures that are made available to students online by their professors or institutions. However, use of online materials in general and engagement in online discussions is rare for most courses at colleges and universities. The average student’s experience with online course materials consists of attempting to figure out how to log into or use Blackboard, which isn’t simple as many students and professors can attest to, due to its confusing and cluttered interface.
While many professors would like to preserve their lectures and make them available online, so that their students can review past material to study for exams, or catch up on what they’ve missed while absent, instructors are currently left with very few options. The companies that currently offer such services charge professors or educational institutions exorbitant fees every semester or quarter to use their proprietary software and/or provide file hosting, the costs of which get transferred to their students in the form of higher fees, whether they view their professors lectures online or not. During a global economic recession, when colleges and universities around the world are raising tuition and other fees to cover budget shortfalls, the last thing they or their students need is additional fees.
Also, while many students record their professors’ lectures themselves, whether that be in audio, video, written, or typed form, there are currently few options for them to share those files with their classmates online, for free, in a secure environment. That’s why I’m proud to announce that LectureSpy.com is offering professors and students around the United States free hosting of their audio and video files in a secure environment.
After signing up for a free account, professors and students can upload or embed video and audio files, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations as well as other Microsoft Office files. Users can also embed content from Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and metacafe, which will enable professors and students to create playlists of educational videos produced by experts around the world for the purpose of learning.
Professors as well as students are able to create secure or public groups to share and discuss files. Alternatively, they can share files with individual classmates or upload files for personal use. This will enable professors who wish to upload video or audio files of themselves lecturing for their students to view online the ability to do so without having to worry about random people seeing or hearing them.
Users are also able to save bookmarks to sites and share them with students or classmates for the purpose of education. Microsoft Office files as well as PDFs can be embedded directly into posts for immediate viewing, meaning that users will not have to download them or even have Office installed on their computers or other devices to see them.
LectureSpy.com only offers a free service for the hosting and sharing of academic files by professors and students. There are no freemium plans or any gimmicks. Upload and share as many files as you wish, as long as their purpose is educational. Space is offered on a first come first serve basis for the time being, but we ultimately hope to be able to provide file sharing services to professors and students around the world for free.