September 8, 2010
Law and LIS Materials in iTunes U and YouTube EDU
Now that the academic fall semester has begun, it seems appropriate to point out some of the legal and library materials that appear on iTunes University and YouTube EDU. The trend is for universities to share lectures on substantive subjects via audio and/or video, and these sites aggregate a number of these offerings. It may be worthwhile for law students (and maybe even a few lawyers) to search these sites for materials that augment their class lectures.
For example, in iTunes, Emory University offers topics such as an Introduction to Torts, and Constitutional Law Parts 1 and 2, in their Mini Law School. These are audion files. Suffolk University offers 26 separate audio files of Legal Writing Tips. The University of Pennsylvania has 39 lectures on different aspects of property law, each lasting over an hour. There isn't a wide variety of legal topics represented in iTunes U, though it's worth browsing. Law is listed as a subtopic under social science.
YouTube University is a subset of Google's video sharing site. Access is by search, though it's important to note that the site features two search boxes, one for EDU and one for the general YouTube offerings. YouTube EDU by comparison probably has more materials available, if for no other reason than the ease to upload and access videos. A search for law brings up over 3,100 results. Some of these are false hits as laws of physics and other science disciplines show up in the results. Searching by legal topic will bring up more specific results. Administrative Law, for example, brings up relevant and peripheral materials. With only 16 results, however, browsing is easy.
One area not represented in iTunes U is library science. YouTube EDU has 11 results when searched as a phrase and 166 results generally. A lot of the material is peripheral, but there are videos of How Technology Will Shape the Future of Libraries from Simmons College, and the SILS Student Panel- Futures of Librarianship from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Much of the general searches consist of one-time lectures on libraries, and video guides to services and offerings from different libraries.
Note that YouTube EDU doesn't offer downloads, though with the number of software packages out there that harvest video from the web, this is merely a minor problem. Access to iTunes U is via the proprietary iTunes software provided by Apple. Most of these materials are free downloads and do not acquire an account for access. The YouTube EDU main page is here. [MG]