Extending classroom walls through educational videos and other multimedia offerings has become common in higher education but often brings its own set of challenges. Managing the increasing amount of multimedia content, along with cataloging new material, such as live recordings, can be costly. Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, has a substantial and growing collection of educational videos that it needed to manage and distribute to its classrooms on demand. The university also wanted to stream live events to its 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students, including speeches given at the school by former United States Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.
To help with its multimedia asset management needs, Bryant is using video on demand software from Connecticut-based VBrick Systems, a company that offers digital video appliances and other solutions for managing video content. Before the VBrick system was in place, according to Daniel Greene, Bryant's media production specialist, professors had to physically visit the library, select a video, download it to a portable media such as disk or tape, and carry it to class. When the university purchased a large number of professionally produced educational documentary videos several years ago, it became obvious that a better system was needed to manage and distribute them.