itunes u

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When is a newspaper article finished?  Well, maybe never.  I’m was reading today about Apple’s new educational releases, e.g., iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U, in The NY Times paper paper and wanted to save the article to my OneNote document.  (Not many people know about Microsoft OneNote — but should.)  Anyway, in order to save the article I went to the NYTimes.com and while lighting up the URL noticed the article, first published at 10 A.M., had been updated at  9:02 last night.  Now that update may have made the paper paper but it may not. So why read the paper paper which may have old, perhaps, less than accurate news? The reason is the form factor.

When the accuracy of the content in news reporting out-weights the form factor (user interface, e.g. paper vs. screen, vs. Siri) the war will really be over.   

But back to the first question. When is a newspaper article finished?  Will publishers be interested in changing stories in a year because they know it to have inaccurate info?  Will it be legal to do so? If it’s on the web and accessible, shouldn’t it be the truth?  Now there are some more things to nosh on.  Peace!

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There is an MIT physics professor by the name of Walter H.G. Lewin who broadcasts his classes to the masses over the internet. The videos are available on iTunes U and http://ocw.mit.edu
 
Professor Lewin is a “one percenter.” That is, he is in the top one percent of his craft. Because Mr. Lewins courses are so powerful, well-crafted and thoroughly demonstrative, his kids learn physics with ease. Check out the article in today’s NYT at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/education/19physics.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
 
This presents a dilemma for MIT. Right now the online lectures are free. But once they become in such great demand (they are currently being viewed in India and China) and student prefer professor Lewin to their own college professor, MIT may find itself educating everybody. Unrestricted, kids could use the internet to find the best college professors in the world and choose to learn from them. What would that do to all the professors who are mediocre, tired and/or simply awaiting pensions?
 
Sadly, MIT and other courseware providers of this ilk are soon going to have to restrict this type of free education. So get this stuff while you can. 
 

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