A new direction for higher education?
If you want to learn something at a higher education level but don’t have the time, inclination or money to apply to a university, then you could do worse than head for iTunes and enter ‘iTunes U’ (you’ll find it at the lower left corner of the windows inside the iTunes store). Here you can download and study amazing subjects, generally for free. For example, one course I have just enjoyed is Art and Art History offered by Oakland University in Michigan. Next I am thinking about doing a course in DNA offered by Britain’s Open University.
In fact, the Open University has been a particular success story on iTunes U. Its portfolio there has now recorded more than 20 million downloads. Some of these are not necessarily advanced intellectual programmes – the most popular is, apparently, beginner’s French – but nevertheless the OU’s success shows that higher education is now reaching a target population by all sorts of unexpected ways. For many of those in universities the assumption still is that most of our customers want to do whatever they need to do in order to get a formal qualification. But we must be open to the reality that many just want to learn, and we must welcome this.
This, too, is another way in which the nature, purpose and methodology of higher education is changing, and changing fast. We need to ensure that we are part of this movement.Explore posts in the same categories: higher education comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.