[LINK] iTunes hits Australian higher learning

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Thu Jun 5 10:09:18 AEST 2008

Ivan Trundle wrote:
> 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 agree...

But regarding the Apple tie-up; I would also wonder, as I so often do, 
whether the T&Cs associated with the service are compatible with the 
needs of the users. In at least one way, I suspect not; because I note 
from a couple of iTunes U T&C statements, the obligatory DMCA clauses 
are there; what else may be out of place in the educational setting? I 
don't have time to look that over right now ...
>> 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 goods?
> </tongue_cheek>
Thanks ... now need new keyboard, coffee splurt, you know the story ... :-)

I suppose I *am* showing my age; the devil's trade in the digital era is 
"here's the stuff, just click to okay the agreement"; stopping to read 
the fine print is regarded as an anachronism.


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