Last week, I posted about using podcasts in the classroom. This week I want to share a few relatively new websites designed for sharing academic talks.

I got the idea from this post on TechCrunch about the website Academic Earth, which TechCrunch called “Hulu for Education.” If you aren’t familiar with Hulu, it’s a joint venture of NBC, Fox and several other media corporations that makes television shows and films available for free (with advertising) online. This isn’t a new idea, but Hulu’s been successful for being one of the first sites to do this that doesn’t suck: the interface is clean and simple, it’s easy to subscribe to the specific shows you want to watch, the advertisements aren’t distracting, the selection is pretty good, etc. Academic Earth does follows the Hulu model of being a nice, clean, searchable aggregator for academic lectures and courses that you can subscribe to and watch in order. (Now as to whether or not the lectures are as entertaining as, say, The Simpsons on Hulu, I won’t say.)

On Academic Earth, you can find a large variety of lectures and complete courses. From Paul Bloom’s Intro to Psychology course to Benjamin Polack’s Game Theory course. You can even embed videos. For example, here’s Bloom’s lecture on social psychology:

What you won’t find—yet—are any sociology courses! So get on it, sociologists! Despite the relative dearth of “sociologists,” there’s much sociological content and many of these lectures will be appropriate for use in classes we teach. (Or even just an accessible way for us to learn a little more about other fields ourselves!)

Academic Earth isn’t the only site like this: also check out BigThink and Of course, “iTunes U” and the iTunes podcasting section has lots of useful stuff as well.

Update: …and just two days later, YouTube joins the crowd with YouTube edu. (via ThickCulture)