[LINK] iTunes hits Australian higher learning

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Jun 5 08:08:56 AEST 2008

On 05/06/2008, at 6:57 AM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> Brendan Scott wrote:
>> Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>>> iTunes hits Australian higher learning
>>> By Ashley Clark
>>> iTNews
>>> 4 June 2008 01:53PM
>>> http://www.itnews.com.au/News/77563,itunes-hits-australian-higher-learning.aspx
>> And presumably ipods and iphones will become the only way to access  
>> these universities' lectures.

Well, not quite: physical attendance is an option.

> As it happens, you can get a PC iTunes client, but not, I suppose,  
> with
> synch to the mobile device.
> But you're right about the basic principle, Brendan. It's out of order
> for Universities to mandate a proprietary, commercial system in this
> way, merely so they can appear cool. If this is a genuine teaching
> initiative, then it should use an open format.

The delivery medium is mp3 - for what it's worth.

The delivery system itself is proprietary - but let's not confuse  
delivery *system* with delivery medium. There are many proprietary  
delivery mechanisms in the education system: and not even just in IT  
(count the number of Windows/Mac machines, for example).

And it's not a case of 'either/or' - as is so often argued in these  
circumstances. I don't regard this initiative as a displacement of  
other channels any more than television displaced radio. It's a case  
of using what works to reach students.

Sure, it's a marketing bonanza for Apple, but (speaking on behalf of  
my generation - apologies to the young-uns) *we* are the ones  
responsible for forcing students to work in order to pay for their  
education, and if working means that they can't attend lectures, then  
it's OUR fault that we have to provide other means for them to get  
lecture content.

> I guess if this is just another cargo-cult gimmick, it doesn't matter,
> but <segue to rant> I'm damn sick of the spectacle of the University
> marketing department leading the VC by the nose...

You're showing your age, Richard... Besides, since you mentioned cargo- 
cults, didn't the Melanesians *benefit* from the arrival of all those  

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