Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get a free college education at iTunes U?

Moments ago I just received an email from iTunes, which like most, I was about to delete as typical bacn. But I hesitated just long enough to let the news they were sharing pique my interest:

iTunes: Forever curious.

After going to the iTunes U store, I saw immediately the incredible utility that they were offering: a wealth of multimedia content that could essentially supplant a paid college education. Given, not all topics are covered, and not all covered topics will be in-depth, but the wealth of knowledge there is considerable. And most amazing, it's all free.

I went looking for fine arts, thinking I'd fill in the gaps of my art history knowledge, but the first thing I saw was Steve Martin above "Funny People / 92nd Street Y". Clicking through brought me to three one-hour segments featuring Martin, George Carlin and Carl Reiner talking about their crafts. For a first impression, wow. 

iTunes U: Funny People, 92nd Street Y

The only drawback I can see is becoming overwhelmed by the scope of options to feed your head. In fact, it's kind of like standing in the New York library without knowing a good book. This might be viewed as the kind of public service that the FCC used to require of television for renting our airwaves. This is truly an important moment in digital distribution: the first real global library of digital content. Thanks Apple. You had me at "Get". 


Anonymous said...

Once again Rob rings the gong of truth, well maybe the desk-front bell at the Holliday Inn. Isn't this the internet as it was envisioned during its creation? Free-flow of ideas and information, accessable to all - iPhone just seems to do it better than the others with layout, navigation, and content. I firmly believe that 'continual education' in America is lacking. After the diplomas go out so does the absorbtion rate of information. Kudos to iPhone for putting knowledge back at our fingertips - but when will they be accredited?


rob getzschman said...

Thanks for the note Rich, I agree that formal education is not about long-term retention, but getting over the hurdles they put in front of you until graduation. Now iTunes just needs standardized testing and they can get in the diploma business too!