iTunes U: Me Feel Smarter
I always wondered why schools like Harvard were unattainable to people like me. Are they really teaching at such a high level that I would be completely lost to their echelon of “higher” knowledge? Or is is their exclusive education really pretension disguised as a top caliber learning?
Mostly I chalked it up to, yes, I’m a dumbass. In the purest and most lovable form. An idiot savant in one or two areas, none of them academic. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been interested in generally stimulating overviews of fascinating events in human history and other simple translations of complex philosophies, but never had enough focus to delve deeper into the dedicated learning that requires the exclusivity of serious time and attention investments. Then Scott stumbled upon iTunes U and shared it with me.
It has been around since mid 2007, so, like my learning abilities, I’m a bit slow on this one. I guess this is one of those cases of better late than never. ITunes U is found through the iTunes platform and is basically a free archive of “lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by qualifying two- and four-year accredited, degree-granting, public or private colleges, universities, elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.” (Thanks iTunes U Wikipedia)
A bit intimidating? That’s just the start of it. Most of the material is from more than reputable sources, such as Harvard lectures. Face it people, we live in the information age. So why not get some info from some of our top sources? Thanks to iTunes U we now can & or have been able to for a while. Yet for some reason, the more people I survey, the more I realize that no one really uses this service.
Personally, I have started to watch lectures from different universities. Will it make me smarter? Probably not. Maybe slightly. Like my 6th grade homeroom teacher, Mr. Jones, used to love to tell me: once a dunce, always an idiot. Since I will most likely not be watching the lectures on advanced mathematics or quantum mechanics, so I am not going to build you a teleportation portal any time soon. However, I do enjoy listening to stories of Roman intellectual invention juxtaposed with barbarism in pre-modern advanced civilization. So yea, there might be an interesting conversation piece coming to your local bar or a dinner table near you some day soon.(If we are friend that is.) But really, the purpose of this post is to recommend that you, the reader, watch some of these excellently informative academic videos. They may make you seem smarter next time we randomly happen interact, and who doesn’t love a stimulating conversation?
Being the crude gentleman that I am, I frequent places that aren’t generally known for their intellectualism. And, when I’m at these fine drinking establishments, I occasionally engage in conversation with other human beings. It seems to me, and maybe I’m wrong on this, but the level of conversation could be a bit higher? Don’t get me wrong, I love banter and am a professional rambler, present passage included, but those few diamonds in the rough of stimulating interaction in the sea of meaningless drivel, are very much appreciated. So go forth people and join the club.
I , personally, promise to aimlessly meander through the wealth of random learning that is iTunes U and bring forth halfway decent dialogue to a bar near you in the not so distant future. In other words, call me & let’s go get a drink. Oh yea, and check out iTunes U. It’s badass.