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Since January 2009, I have been videotaping numerical methods course lectures in the Educational Outreach studio of University of South Florida, Tampa. Videos are made in 10-minute segments, not just because that is the limit of the length of YouTube videos, but because we firmly believe in making our resources pedagogically neutral. Ten minute videos allow an instructor to pick and choose what, when and how he or she wants the students to learn.

But some people have asked me – Why YouTube – why not put the same 10-minute videos on your own website. We do have the links to the YouTube videos on our own website, but there are many good reasons to go the YouTube route. The list of reasons below may be obvious to some, while others may not have thought about some of them.

1. Use YouTube’s storage space for the videos.

2. Use YouTube’s compression technology to make the videos stream faster on slow connections.

3. Use the power of Google and YouTube to tag and search the videos.

4. Use YouTube’s bandwidth as opposed to that of my school. My school’s IT department most probably would start screaming when the downloads pick up pace.

5. Use YouTube’s editing facilities to add annotations, links, and play lists.

6. Use the ubiquity of YouTube to reach a large audience.

7. Simple one stop process to let others embed the videos on their website.

8. Have open discussion on the videos via comments.

9. Get the videos rated so that we can judge their quality.

10. Use the “insight” tool of YouTube to analyze who is watching the videos.

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This post is brought to you by Holistic Numerical Methods: Numerical Methods for the STEM undergraduate at http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu, the textbook on Numerical Methods with Applications available from the lulu storefront, and the YouTube video lectures available at http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/videos and http://www.youtube.com/numericalmethodsguy

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