2016-03-16 17.34.36We’ve been cleaning out the old studio in Kidder Hall as we prepare to turn over the space to New Media Communications. As materials are shipped away to Surplus, we unearth some ancient artifacts, some much older than this one artifact pictured here. But few are more relevant to my current occupation. This is an Anystream Apreso Coursecaster, a lecture capture device, and the appliance that Echo360 was using probably about a decade ago. We got this as part of an evaluation as we were testing lecture capture systems at OSU. We ultimately went with Apple Podcast Producer instead, a fateful decision. As Apple did what they often do, and discontinued the product almost immediately after we adopted it. We carried on for some time with Podcast Producer but ultimately retired it and replaced it with our current generation of lecture capture technology. We’ve become quite knowledgeable in regards to lecture capture over these many years, largely due to adversity and hardship. We’re now in a much better place, and much better informed. And I can’t say we’d be where we are now if we’d gone with this little box, instead.

P.S. The Canopus TwinPact 100, which was part of our Apple Podcast Producer deployment, is also sitting on my desk. But unlike the Anystream, which doesn’t seem to serve a purpose any more, the Canopus can still be leveraged as a type of Swiss Army knife for ingesting legacy standard definition sources into our workflow. You’ve got a VHS tape of your wedding that you’d like to convert into a digital file? I can do that… well, except now I need a VCR.

I did a webinar with Kaltura yesterday where I spoke about lessons learned from our (“successful”) deployment of Kaltura at OSU. I put “successful” in quotes only because it took some time to get to the point where we are today. We’ve been with Kaltura for 6 years and we’re very satisfied with the product today, but in the earliest days, it was certainly a difficult implementation. Both Kaltura and OSU grew in those intervening years, though, and Kaltura today is not what Kaltura was 6 years ago. The product’s implementation is turn-key and simple. I keep coming back to the words “integral”, “transparent”, and “ubiquitous” when I talk about Kaltura. Oftentimes, Kaltura is going exist invisibly behind the scenes. If it does its job, your interaction with Kaltura should be minimal. It’s job is to gobble up video and spit out video, and it does both those things wonderfully.

Recently when meeting with faculty and staff at OSU, and with people outside of OSU, I’ve refrained from going into the weeds when talking about Kaltura. If I try to touch on all the functionality, I’ll be talking for hours and I’ll surely lose my audience. Someone who wants to know about lecture capture doesn’t want to know about live streaming, for instance. Instead, what I often do when I walk into a room is go immediately to the whiteboard and draw a big cloud (“Kaltura”) and put a bunch of arrows going into that cloud on one side, and a bunch of arrows coming out of that cloud on the other side. That’s translated more recently into this Prezi I’ve made that I shared during yesterday’s webinar and you can see here.