Tue, Apr 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Google unveils new online learning service

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from Google, YouTube and major universities in Taiwan pose at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

Google Inc yesterday unveiled a Chinese-language version of its new service YouTube EDU, which allows Internet users to access videotaped courses from three local universities.

The search giant said National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University had uploaded more than 140 video courses about math, literature and science to the YouTube EDU Web site since the beginning of the year.

“The courses allow Internet users to learn not only academic knowledge, but also cultural aspects. They also provide great opportunities for foreign students to learn Taiwanese culture,” Angela Lin (林永函), manager of YouTube’s strategic partnerships division, said at a press conference.

YouTube EDU is an open platform where users from around the world can access courses offered by 400 primary and secondary schools, as well as universities in countries including the US, South Korea, Japan, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong, Lin said.

Established in 2009, YouTube EDU has since seen its number of channels grow three fold to more than 1,000, Lin said, saying that as of last year, about 850,000 video courses were available online for users.

“YouTube EDU is a global classroom that provides localized educational resources to everyone with Internet access,” Lin said.

“In today’s world, video is an incredibly engaging way to teach students and to engage students ... This is really a new age in terms of technology enabling us to learn and to educate each other. We are entering a new age,” she added.

Google Taiwan said it was seeking to collaborate with more educational institutions in Taiwan this year to increase the size of its YouTube EDU services and further diversify content.

The company also intends to invite more academic institutions in Chinese and Arabic-speaking countries to upload their courses to YouTube EDU to meet the rising demand for online education courses, Lin said.

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