Videolectures.net provides a whole new approach to the communication of science. Lectures from fields as diverse as Arts, Economics, History and Computer Science are available for free on this revolutionary website and it is one of the leading web based educational portals of its kind.
Videolectures was founded in 2001 as an internally-funded project at the Jozef-Stefan Institute, Slovenia. The pilot project involved videoing a series of weekly lectures on artificial intelligence and general computer science topics that were held at the institute. These were made available online in an attempt to enable students and researchers across the world to become a part of a global audience.
These initial experiments were so successful that videolectures team began to collaborate with a number of European projects, PASCAL being one of the first and main contributors. PASCAL's many workshops and links to major conferences contributed several hundred new lectures for the site (three times more than from any other project), providing a valuable resource for PASCAL researchers.
As videolectures was seen to provide quality recordings for existing projects, the team were increasing approached to become involved with new projects. Over the next few years, videolectures joined forces with a series of Framework 5, 6 and 7 projects. The team also approached major conferences and events, and recorded them in full. Such extensive involvement with so many projects quickly transformed videolectures into a truly global phenomenon, covering an impressive range of topics.
The website has developed in a number of ways. PowerPoint slides appear next to the video, timed to change when the video plays to enable viewers to look at the slides whilst watching the lectures. Viewers can comment on the lectures, leading to online discussions about the material. The number of downloads are listed, and lecturers are ranked according to their popularity.
Videolectures is now run by the dedicated Center for Transfer in Information Technologies at the Josef Stefan Institute.