Monday, April 24, 2006

Berkeley on iTunes U? iTUNES U?

This is fascinating to me.

Berkeley on iTunes U

Apparently Berkeley has been podcasting its lectures. That's not so interesting. Lots of other schools (some so lowly and dilapidated as Duke) do podcasting. However, apparently Berkeley has gotten together with iTunes and makes them available FOR FREE for download by ANYONE with iTunes.

There are a number of different areas each with a number of different courses each with lots of different lectures. All of them look like undergraduate courses. IB 31, a survey of animal behavior with emphasis on behavioral ecology, has had 22 lectures so far.

What's interesting is that these downloads include every lecture, including the very first one where they do organization of all the students. That means you hear the instructor passing out index cards and asking people to submit their schedules and all that jazz. Now, I've never gone to college anywhere but OSU, so I thought it was pretty cool to hear that other schools (even as hoity-toity as Berkeley) have the same operating procedures. Then later in the lectures, you hear instructors giving the same caliber lectures as you could get somewhere else. Again, I thought that was kinda cool.

HOWEVER, they also mention that Berkeley has gotten rid of blackboards and has gone to some new "B-space" system that automatically digitizes everything that was printed to the board and posts it on-line. (and I don't think those are available unless you really know how to hunt and peck for them, and it might require being a Berkeley student) We don't have "B-space" at OSU in any of the departments I visit... So that sorta humbled me again. :(

Anyway, I think it's good to know this is around. I wonder if iTunes U includes any others schools. (?)


Anonymous said...

Just a point of clarification from UCB. bSpace doesn't actually replace blackboards, it replaces a course website system called Blackboard. So, while there are instructors posting digital materials to bSpace, it isn't an automatic process yet.

If you're curious, bSpace is based on community source software called Sakai.

Theo said...

Oh, well, gosh. In that case, OSU has that too!

Neat. :)