Apple Offers College Lectures Via Podcasts – Yahoo! News

Apple Offers College Lectures Via Podcasts – Yahoo! News

This is very interesting–Apple supporting the podcasting of lectures. Forget for a brief moment that removing the students from the classroom removes the interactivity between the prof and the class, and between each other, that often leads to serendipitous learning. Additionally, ignore for the moment that this might result in the prof actually talking to a COMPLETELY empty room (and how motivated a speaker can you be with that?).

Ignoring all that, this might be a very neat idea. Several years ago, MIT started the open university project (or whatever they called it) making the materials for their classes available online. Their logic? The course materials are not the reason MIT is so good. MIT is an outstanding university because of the interactions, and the faculty. This goes that next step, and brings the faculty–at least in a one way transmission–to the viewer/listener. (MIT, to its credit, will still have an edge, since so much of their educational experience is hands-on learning.) Perhaps this is another way of extending the distance education approach, that started with mail-order classes, has recently moved to the web-based courses, and now, is supported by your little iPod.

I am curious about this, though. Do you, dear class, believe that students today are, as the story says, “digital natives”? Are they so wired in, that this is not only a good way to reach them, but perhaps, the ONLY way to reach them?

What do you think the net effect on the education of these students will be? Will they be better educated, since they can learn where and when they want, or perhaps lose out because of the lack of interaction?

Let me know!

The Prof

(Oh, and visit The Lobby–for all my wranglings with that site, I do believe it is a fun site to read, and honestly, worth anyone’s time!)


6 thoughts on “Apple Offers College Lectures Via Podcasts – Yahoo! News

  1. I am glad that Apple has taken to Podcasting as a means of providing access to students who may not be able to learn in the traditional setting.

    In my case, (and I’m pretty typical) I am completing a second bachelor’s degree, and will begin work on a master’s degree soon; Add to that the responsibilities of being a mother of three, working full time and managing a consulting business. I know many people like me have to keep a balancing act, but refuse to not be in the loop of new trends. So it’s no wonder Podcasting has struck a chord with adults who are constantly on the go.

    There are brief respites where I wouldn’t mind having the Podcast of a lecture playing in my ear while at the gym or doing groceries. Unfortunately the University I attend does not offer lectures via Podcast. But I am sure Apple’s innovative spirit will catch on soon enough.

  2. Let

    Thanks for your comments! You bring up an interesting notion for me. Perhaps encouraging the use of the podcasts not as a replacement for a lecture, but as a way of reviewing materials, and ensuring that one accurately heard what was said.

    I would be very interested in hearing more about what you are taking, and of course about the consulting work you do.

  3. I teach a course online now and I would certainly like to make my lectures available as podcasts. That being said, I would not make them available to my traditional students. I might make some form of lecture/discussion available as an aid.

    In any event, it is exciting for a self-described Apple geek, but I am still mulling over the possibilities…

  4. Brother

    As I understand it, the difference is that, with podcasts, you just download the lecture, similiar to any other “distance learning” mode… Whereas if you record the lecture, you are at least there to make the recording…

  5. “The service lets institutions decide if they want to limit access to certain groups or open the material to the public.” – From the article

    I wonder how restrictive this could be? Could they restrict downloads to those students who actually attended the class by giving out a single use password tied to the student ID number the way some coffee shops provide Wifi access on a day to day basis with temporary passwords? For instance, the teacher gives a lecture, writes the password of the day on the board, but the only ones who can download that lecture are those who are on the attendance roster. Of course these are smart kids and will soon enough be bypassing any kind of copywrite protection embedded in the code that would keep them from passing the lecture on to fellow students. But you could try.

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