As 2013 dawns, and with predictions from Cisco that by 2014, video will exceed 91% of global consumer traffic on the internet, it seems timely that a new Research Education Space from us at Jisc, the BBC and with our colleagues at the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) is also starting to form.
There is growing demand for appropriate film and sound resources within education. Where the typical education consumer would previously have been content with text-based learning, they are now seeking to learn from the gamut of rich multi-media all around them.
For all those involved in education either as funders, producers, or practitioners, the challenge is how to harness this new media literacy, and in particular to help ensure that rich media resources can be systematically embedded in teaching and learning, as well as providing new avenues for research. Teachers are increasingly aware of the need to offer compelling and interesting resources that engage students to facilitate the high quality experience that our universities need to be able to deliver in order to remain competitive. Likewise, researchers want to engage more fully with film, television and radio to exploit the potential of resources that have been hitherto inaccessible.
We are therefore excited about the possibilities that the development of a Research Education Space (RES) will offer to address these needs. During 2013, we will be working on the first phase of creating RES which aims to deliver a sustainable digital content collection for post August 1989 BBC broadcast media assets using the ERA licences and the BUFVC’s Box of Broadcasts (BoB) service. More specifically we aim to:
Provide unique, rich and valuable assets to research and educational users.
The audio-visual archives of the BBC contain a wealth of material gathered since it was founded in 1922 but much remains largely inaccessible, held on film or videotape. RES will start to ‘open up’ one of the most influential archives in the world for use within UK education and research.
Establish Principles for making assets and catalogues available to research and educational users
We are only at the beginning of the process of unlocking archives for academic use, but we see our collaboration with the BBC and the BUFVC as crucial to bringing together expertise in this area and enhancing joint understanding. The project will pay dividends for education and research in the longer term by providing more cost effective ways to provide access to high quality and highly demanded archival content.
Develop a Platform for digitised assets which allows easy access and reliable delivery
For us and our customers, RES will contribute to a balanced Jisc portfolio of investment as not only will it greatly enhance the availability of video/ audio resources (being the only dedicated source of BBC broadcasts for education potentially dating back to August 1989), but also begin to create a sustainable infrastructure through the existing BUFVC’s ‘Box of Broadcasts – BoB’ (an off-air recording and media archive service).
Create Propositions to demonstrate the use of these assets within a range of contexts
BoB’s popularity and user-baser is already impressive – in 2012 alone, it streamed some 320 programmes per hour from 50+ channels, with 35k-40k unique users per month at 45 institutions (8 colleges, 37 universities). However, RES will also help us to learn more about current and potential content usage in education and research through academic engagement and case study development. This will help us present the content better in order to gain maximum exposure and use.
RES has the potential to both enhance and energise the academy’s relationship with one of the dominant media of the 20th century- film, television and radio- by creating new opportunities for research and teaching and encouraging use across many different disciplines. We have some way to go until the first results of our work to develop RES become available in the autumn of 2013 but we’re looking forward to the journey and keeping you posted.
As we put the team together to create RES and our plans develop, I and colleagues look forward to keeping you up-to-date on our progress. If in the meantime you’d like to know more, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
An overview of the BBC’s Digital Public Space vision can be read in the Guardian here.
Find out more about BUFVC’s BoB National: http://bobnational.net