ODU Launches Official YouTube Channel
Old Dominion University has taken the next step in educational outreach with the creation of an ODU YouTube channel. The channel hosts videos featuring various aspects of the university, including academics and faculty, campus life, distance learning and athletics. Among the current videos featured are faculty spotlights, an ONFilm Festival promo, virtual tours of forthcoming athletic facilities and even a helicopter tour of the campus.
Old Dominion is the first college or university in the state to launch an official YouTube channel, one that is recognized by the governor's office and confirmed by Google/YouTube. ODU created the channel in partnership with the commonwealth of Virginia and in keeping with Gov. Timothy Kaine's technology initiative. YouTube is providing the channel and technical assistance free of charge, and there will be no advertising on the ODU channel. The "enhanced" channel will allow for unlimited content as part of the university's relationship with YouTube.
The educational opportunities made possible by the accessibility of the YouTube platform are as yet unquantifiable. But the ability of ODU to reach out to Internet users throughout the state and beyond is an exciting prospect, according to Nancy Cooley, the university's vice provost for distance learning. Cooley is spearheading the development of the YouTube channel and sees great opportunities for outreach.
"We are pleased to work with the Office of the Governor and YouTube to make ODU's video-based resources available at no cost to the citizens of the commonwealth and the world," Cooley said. "This is an excellent way for prospective students and faculty to learn about our outstanding faculty and vibrant campus life. Additionally, it is an important resource for self-directed learners to access university content for lifelong learning and enjoyment."
Cooley acknowledges that the ever-growing and evolving impact of the Internet has become a crucial part of developing and highlighting an institution's public profile. "Clearly, one benefit to creating a YouTube channel is to help us stay current with the ways in which students acquire information these days," she said. "And it's a great opportunity to showcase ODU."
Most university students today are technologically savvy and have memberships in multiple social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, as well as file- and video-sharing Web sites such as YouTube. Many of these students gather much of their information via these sites. Consequently, universities wishing to reach potential students via the Internet are compelled to go beyond the traditional institutional homepage or Web site.
Arguably, establishing a presence on YouTube could have a significant impact on the decision-making process of potential students. Alice McAdory, ODU executive director of admissions, believes YouTube cannot be discounted when considering different influences on admission trends. "Absolutely, I do think YouTube has an impact on admissions," she said. "From what I see in this office, our students are on YouTube and they know everything that's on it."
According to YouTube's online press room, "YouTube is the leader in online video, and the premier destination to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on www.YouTube.com and across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and e-mail. YouTube has quickly become the leading destination on the Internet for video entertainment."
To visit ODU's official YouTube channel, go to http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=odu.
This article was posted on: February 26, 2008
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