Ben Hubbard Ben Hubbard, who tries to “think outside the box,” poses with the equipment that’s helping to streamline campus webcasts. (Wendy Edeslstein photo)

It's My Job

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Ben Hubbard
Program manager,, Educational Technology Services

22 October 2008

What is
It’s an archived collection of selected courses and events from campus that are available for live viewing and on-demand replay over the Internet. It’s a program within ETS that includes all the units in our department.

It sounds pretty complicated.
It is. It requires the expertise of our classroom-technology, special-events, design and engineering, and learning-system specialists. It also requires a dedicated administrator to manage faculty assigned to technology-equipped classrooms to ask if they would like to participate.

How many classes are webcast or podcast each semester?
About 40 to 50. We have some 25 classes on video, and 40 to 45 on audio. Most of the classes with videocasts are also podcast as audio-only.

How do students regard the service?
Students used to come to Berkeley with the hope that there would be more online media — such as video and audio podcasts — and now they’re arriving at Berkeley expecting even more of those things.

Is there resistance to that?
There are some faculty members who don’t want to participate. The faculty who do sign up find it worthwhile to make their content available to students. Beyond that, they add value to lifelong learners around the world. ABC World News did a story a while back on a trucker who was listening to a lecture on Heidegger by Professor Hubert Dreyfuss. He was learning how to think like a philosopher while he was hauling these loads across the country.

Do you have other responsibilities?
ETS is directly responsible for just a fraction of the content produced by the campus. I also manage the campus’s channels on YouTube and iTunes U.

What does that entail?
I try to better represent the university as a whole on those platforms by helping groups that produce video — like Public Affairs, the College of Natural Resources, the College of Engineering, Haas, and Berkeley Law — get their content included on those sites.

What do you like the best about your job?
Everything. I can go from a meeting with the Campus Video Council, where we’re discussing high-level issues about how better to brand the university online, to another meeting with a broad variety of universities and private-sector companies like Google and Apple, where we’re discussing how to create a community-source webcast capture-and-delivery system. I thrive on that kind of variety.