Students, Instructors & the Video Tools at Your Fingertips

The University of Pittsburgh’s Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) division recently made Sharepoint Online and Office 365 available to all Pitt students, staff, and faculty. One of the features of this package is a video hosting service called Office 365 Video.

At first glance, this service seems to have some overlap with My Pitt Video Powered by Panopto, the enterprise video hosting solution that has also been offered by the University, dating back to last year.

So what are the differences between My Pitt Video Powered by Panopto and the set of tools offered by Office 365 Video?

It seems the best way to approach these two applications is to first look at the project you’re working on and the type of collaboration your project demands. Are you sharing content directly related to a class you are teaching? My Pitt Video links directly to your CourseWeb, allowing you to instantly connect to the students already given access to course materials. Less collaborative than informative, the parameters already set by CourseWeb will ensure that the content is secure and cannot be tampered with. Are you a student working on a project with other students? Sharepoint Online and Office 365 allows you to create a group that can work together to build Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft Office documents for your project.

Another main difference is that My Pitt Video gives you the tools to make simple edits to video content, or create live capture of lectures or presentations while capturing content from your presentation to share side-by-side with video, while Office 365 Video simply allows you to post content for your collaborators to see.

So while the two applications share some functionality, their particular value stems from the manner in which you intend to share your content, and the type of content you wish to create. My Pitt Video seems most suited to more complex content, while Office 365 Video is a quick way to host simple videos, particularly useful to students working in groups or for projects not related to classes already using CourseWeb. Both tools can have a powerful impact on teaching and learning and should be considered when one needs to present content to groups.

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