Recording video is expensive. You have to buy costly equipment, hire a cameraman to operate it, and then waste hours editing. And for universities that want to record video lectures for their students (or for initiatives like OCW, EdX)… it’s neither cost effective, nor scalable. That’s why – despite the high demand for lecture videos – only 2% of MIT OCW videos have lecture videos attached to them.
Differentiating factors? There has been a lot of work in lecture video editing/recording, but much of it has focused on emulating the cameraman. EduCase takes a different approach.
- Puts students first: A single cameraman can never capture the dynamic nature of a lecture. Therefore, EduCase has multiple cameras so that the entire scene can be captured (not just a small subset.) During a lecture, students are multitasking. They may be taking notes/referring to a previous board while listening to the professor lecture about the next topic. A cameraman/single-camera system makes this multi-tasking impossible — no good way to determine what the student actually wants to look at. Furthermore, the use of the Kinect enables EduCase to filter out, and “look behind” the professor to see the future board.
- Intelligent system: EduCase will automatically focuses on the correct board by using the Microsoft Kinect to track the professor, detect gestures (e.g. writing or pointing to the board gesture,) and do voice recognition.
- Scalability: Because EduCase will use multiple smaller cameras to capture the view rather than a single high-quality camera with complex panning/zooming features… the system will be relatively portable and inexpensive. Expandable to non-traditional lecture settings: because there’s a trend away from the traditional lecture-hall format, the system will be designed such that it is easy to add functionality by simply recording new gestures.
To summarize – EduCase is the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to record video lectures – no cameraman, no hours wasted editing. Professor walks, folds open his EduCase, and presses a button for a hassle-free-lecture-recording experience. Impact: We hope that by the end of this project, EduCase will be considered a promising video-lecture recording approach by the OpenCourseWare community, and bring us one step closer to our overarching goal of education for all.
Team: Sara Itani ‘Grad, Fang-Yu Liu ‘Grad, Riccardo Campari ‘Grad, Adin Schmahmann ’13