iTunes University, but what about the football team?
26 February 2009
I love the studies surrounding university lectures now available on iTunes from several test campuses (‘iTunes university’ better than the real thing; Ewan Callaway, New Scientist) — apparently if you go to the class, take notes during the lecture, then download the podcast following and go back through the difficult sections time and time again until you understand – you increase your average score on the next test….really?!
I am not being critical of the concept of online learning or even this study, let me be clear that I am a huge fan and applaud these universities as it feels like a natural progression. It seems the higher ups understand what is driving youth culture and are attempting to harness it – good on them. Furthermore I think that in the current economic landscape, online lectures provide a great opportunity for disadvantaged youth to participate in higher education. On this note I would like to see more universities making lectures open to download although I understand the DRM issues surrounding this as it is by nature proprietary….maybe it is a form of online university with a different monetization model…but once I again I have digressed…
I just feel all of this is missing something, probably because I am concerned that the whole professor, theater-style of lecture is outdated for Gen Y. It’s hard enough to get kids to go to one lecture, let alone download it and listen 2x, 3x or even 4x times to fully digest the info.
What I think would be interesting would be to flip the whole lecture-university model on its head and adapt more of the Gen Y mentality. I think as everything for this generation, it is about collaboration, empowerment and even entertainment. My point is when marketing to youth (and yes, that is what universities do) we need to completely rethink these engagement models to really harness the power.
All this being said, it’s great to daydream about what an online iUniversity will look like, just wonder how some of the more traditional pillars of college will transfer into this virtual world – iDebt, iFootball, iFraternities or iDorm Rooms?