Being a life long learner with iTunesU
Having been a teacher in the past and once again working as a teacher it is no surprise that I am a great believer in lifelong learning and the iPad and education. In the dark old days of the past a man or woman could leave school with the minimum qualifications, happy in the knowledge that they would never again have to darken the doorstep of any educational establishment again. Reading would be strictly restricted to the Sun newspaper, which as we all know if more for looking at the pictures that actually reading words.
iPad education apps and You don’t know what you don’t know
That is the thing, isn’t it, that you can be blissfully ignorant in the world. You have no idea what information is out there that could be useful to you, if you knew it. Proper ignorance is when you don’t know this fact and if you did know you still wouldn’t care. I am starting to suspect though, that many more people that previously would run a mile rather than read a book are actually turning to learning new things. There is the financial crisis which is forcing people to learn. You have computers in homes and parents don’t want to feel too stupid when their children are running rings around them with technology. Time to break out the iPad education apps. Do some life long learning with educational apps for ipad is more fun that stuffy old book.
What is being done to embrace life long learners needs?
Of course countries that have a decent education system are making courses available to those that want them or can afford to pay for them. The politics of crisis mean that people are willing now to pay to learn things too. People need these courses to get the jobs and some that were anti school before, are realising that there may be some need of education after all. Then again it can be difficult to go back to learning stuff when you don’t know how to do it effectively. You might not have the skills or the willingness to sit in a classroom, to hear a teacher bleating on about whatever subject you think you have to get through to get that certificate. So what is there for the section of the community that want to learn, but are not sure how to get started? How about iTunesU to get you away from the starting blocks towards becoming a life long learner. Make a start with some iPad education apps
A wide range of courses available in iTunes U
Have you seen the huge number of courses that are now available and most of them are free too. You won’t get the certificate from the university unless you enroll properly, but you can get the information. You can use the course materials to be a self motivated student on a great number of subjects. Honestly, it is phenomenal the amount of learning experience you can get from iTunesU. You can even find course that will help you organise how you learn. Audio and video courses with additional written material for all sorts of subjects. Learn how to cope with working and fitting in learning something new at the same time.
iTunesU Courses I have signed up for or just considered
I have just selected a course which is for teachers wishing to bring iPads into the classroom learning experience. I will have a look at it to see if there any gems in the that I might be able to learn and put into practice. Already, I am using my iPad in the classroom and I would love it if I was in a school that all the students had iPads. I could have gone for quantum physics, I saw a course there, that is presented by Professor Brian Cox. You have Maths, physics and all of the scientific and technical subjects along with plenty of choice with the arts based courses. I have the one which is about creative writing and writing plays. That’s just the way that I roll, what can I say.
One of the most popular courses that many people downloaded early on in the rise of iTunesU, was the course for learning to be an iPhone programmer from Stanford. I watched a few of the courses and I did think that the technical side could be improved upon. Particularly the audio that was on the video tracks, could be poor sometimes. Microphones need to be attached to the speaker and you need a decent camera man that knows how to keep up and shoot this type of event. I would expect this to improve over time.
iBooks Author will be a game changer
When the iBooks Author software was released by Apple this was another big step, with Apple leading the way regards life long learning and the use of iPad technology in the classroom. I expect that in time we will see some amazing new ebook iPad textbooks that will make learning more interesting and more efficient. I like to learn new things and using Apple technology makes it easier for me. I have Bento for the database I can use in the class, although I could do lists with Numbers. I have not made any Keynote presentations yet, but I might be tempted. I like having a notebook that will let me write on the screen of the iPad if I need to show an English word to my students. I could type it too, if I wanted to. It would be faster and probably more readable. Quite a range of education apps for ipad are available.
Other iTunes University courses
I could start with ‘An Introduction to Nuclear Energy’ followed by a course on the ‘Core Concepts of Chemistry’. Just kidding – I would likely go for iPad for education courses on writing and the arts based subjects, even though I could learn about String Theory for some brain expanding and exploding, types of subjects. If you are without a job and you go to an interview and can talk about some of this stuff, even if you have not got the pieces of paper to back it up, it could still be impressive. It is fortunate that we have free ipad apps for education. It is all part of the Apple educational way of looking at life, they have made it possible to have a large number of education apps for iPad. Both the ipad educational apps and the iPad eText book innitiative. Which iPad education apps or iTunesU courses do you like the look of?