Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Businesses Apple

Stanford Classes Now Available on iTunes 274

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the all-about-that-piece-of-paper dept.
Chowser writes "Forbes is reporting Stanford University is now offering a wide range of content on iTunes. From the article: 'In an unprecedented move, Stanford University is collaborating with Apple Computer to allow public access a wide range of lectures, speeches, debates and other university content through iTunes. No need to pay the $31,200 tuition. No need to live on campus. No need even to be a student. The nearly 500 tracks that constitute "Stanford on iTunes" are available to anyone willing to spend the few minutes it takes to download them from the Internet.'" Talaper noted the Official Apple Page on the program is up as well.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stanford Classes Now Available on iTunes

Comments Filter:
  • by hardticket (696737) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:30PM (#14559400)
    99 cents per lecture, get your ONLINE degree from iTunes today
  • by SoCalChris (573049) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:32PM (#14559425) Journal
    Of the 500 available tracks, only 39 are lectures. The rest are sports, music, and random "Heard on campus" tracks that look like a blog. The available lectures look pretty cool though.
    • by mzwaterski (802371) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:51PM (#14559699)
      I'm pretty sure the meant, no need to be a student to download the tracks. Not: No need to be a student because you can get your education through iTunes.
    • Huh? (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd (1658)
      39 lectures to 461 random tunes/gossip... Sounds about the ratio most students go for. If anything, it might be a little heavy on the course material.


      (I don't think anybody was seriously looking at iTunes as a rival to the UK's Open University program, where they've been doing remote broadcasts of lectures for a long time now.)

    • Of the 500 available tracks, only 39 are lectures. The rest are sports, music, and random "Heard on campus" tracks that look like a blog. The available lectures look pretty cool though.

      Actually, some of the more interesting stuff is in the "Hear on campus" section... places like Stanford often have cool guest speakers and ( sometimes ) interesting round-table discussion events. The Dali Lama stuff is pretty interesting.

      Of course, this isn't "new". This launched sometime last year.

  • MIT OpenCourseWare (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mysqlrocks (783488) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:32PM (#14559426) Homepage Journal
    Glad to see other universities are following the trend set by MIT with their OpenCourseWare [mit.edu] project. It's interesting to see universities have faith that putting this content out for public consumption will not detract from their mission.
    • by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:35PM (#14559481) Journal
      Without the piece of paper, the education is meaningless :)
      • Without the piece of paper, the education is meaningless :)

        No, it just means the education is what you make of it. While you don't have "proof" of your understanding of the concepts you can leverage the information on a personal level. (eg Steve Jobs "dropping in" to calligraphy class)
      • Statements like that are why the education system in many Western countries is in such a state. No longer do people pursue degrees for the love of the subject, they just want a nice piece of paper to wave in front of possible employers. It's a shame that for many personal achievement is now a distant second to what other people think of the letters after your name.

        I know, for myself at least, that those notes often provide additional insight or alternate approaches to material I've studied, and are helpfu

        • Statements like that are why the education system in many Western countries is in such a state.

          Holy generalizations. And bad ones at that. (a state of what?)

          No longer do people pursue degrees for the love of the subject, they just want a nice piece of paper to wave in front of possible employers.

          The point of college *is* to make yourself more employable.

          It's a shame that for many personal achievement is now a distant second to what other people think of the letters after your name.

          I'm proud of
          • Reading is one way communication. Is it, therefore, stupid? I fail to see how your argument is valid.
            • It is stupid to take a lecture and strip away the interactivity, yes.

              It is stupid to take an interactive medium and remove the ability to communicate back. Its like making telephones with only an earpiece.
              • Lectures are not an interactive medium. That's recitation. Or maybe private school. When you're sitting in a lecture hall with 300 other students, you can't just ask whatever stupid question pops into your head, unless you want to be the object of hatred of your professor and classmates. It's how tens of thousands of public university students learn. Obviously that's not the entire learning process, but that doesn't make it worthless.

                And a telephone with only an earpiece is called a radio.
    • by sterno (16320) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:37PM (#14559506) Homepage
      Making the content available is all positive for these universities. If I downloaded everything they made, and studied it thoroughly, I might have a strong grasp of the subject matter but I still wouldn't have a degree from MIT or Stanford. In the end there's value in the degree because it certifies your knowledge. If you go for a job interview, etc, and say I downloaded Stanford's coursework from ITunes, I rather doubt they'd consider me on par with a Stanfor graduate.

      It's a good thing for them because it builds their image. It shows an interest in promotion education in general and sharing knowledge with those who cannot afford the $30K+. It also gives prospective students a chance to see what that money would be going for before they shell it out. So really all around a good thing for them.
      • by wombatmobile (623057) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:02PM (#14559839)

        If I downloaded everything they made, and studied it thoroughly, I might have a strong grasp of the subject matter but I still wouldn't have a degree from MIT or Stanford.

        ...until shortly after you downloaded Photoshop.

      • And it also exposes listeners to the very best that they have to offer and gets potential students excited about the possibility of their entire experience being this well taught. "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" and well as some of the others are considered some of the most interesting lectures on campus and are often presented in forums outside of the classroom. And listening to these gems might keep people from realizing that if they posted "Powerpoint Physics Lecture by Bored Uber-Genius #22", they would
    • by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:40PM (#14559545) Homepage
      I think the Universities understand that employers don't generally have the cognitive skills to understand whether an applicants is qualified for a particular job and must really on earned degrees from institutions to tell them if they should or in some cases even can hire somebody. With this idea so entrenched in our corporate culture the University need not fear giving away their content because that isn't what is actually valuable in the market--the degree is. A person who gets a degree from Stanford but retains no learning will have a much easier time getting a well-paid job than a person without the degree who nevertheless memorized and internalized every bit of information Stanford gives away.
      • I think you mean "don't have the time" to evaluate all these candidates. Of course it isn't perfectly fair to throw out everyone who didn't get a college education, but how else can you quickly sort through the hundreds of resumes you receive for each job opening? You honestly expect a human who does have other duties to read through each one carefully and think, "Hmmm...does this person really know what they are talking about?" I know if I had that job I would go crazy. So unless you have some genious
        • At the risk of getting a little bit off-topic for this particular message topic - I *do* expect businesses to carefully read resumes that are submitted to determine if they "know what they're talking about" or not. That's one reason you see so much inefficiency in business today! Most managers claim they "don't have time" to go through their job applicants - so they've done things like let the H.R. department "pre-screen" everybody for them. Effectively, that amounts to saying "Here - throw away a bunch
      • This is wisdom of the ages friends.

        I personally made a very foolish mistake in college by attending a less prestigious school over a much more prestigious one.

        I paid my way through university. At the time I was furious that they were teaching me things I had learned in community college. Same text books, similar lectures, only the professors would blather on about their research which had little to do with the subject of the day.

        So I left. I felt I got a better education, but boy it doesn't show on paper
      • I think the Universities understand that employers don't generally have the cognitive skills to understand whether an applicants is qualified for a particular job and must really on earned degrees from institutions to tell them if they should or in some cases even can hire somebody.

        I think employers understand that the work skills required to complete a four-year degree program at a well-regarded university are at least as important as indicators of qualifications as a person's ability to leave a positive i
        • But then, some of them value an MSCE
    • Question is now: can I only access these if I live in the USA? It would be ashame if they limited this content's distribution.
      • For Stanford, try it and find out.

        MIT OpenCourseWare is open to anyone, anywhere. Some of the MIT courses have been translated into Español, Portugues, and Simplified Chinese.
  • This is impressive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:32PM (#14559431) Homepage Journal

    Also consider that Stanford is a private university, not public.

    Meanwhile the Vatican is defending copyrighting the Pope's pronouncements. Which, IMHO, is right up there with copyright of MLK's 'I Have A Dream' and Co$'s copyrighted "Trade Secrets"

    Nice move ya floppy tree :-)

    • Meanwhile the Vatican is defending copyrighting the Pope's pronouncements. Which, IMHO, is right up there with copyright of MLK's 'I Have A Dream' and Co$'s copyrighted "Trade Secrets"

      Sounds like an excellent way to keep both these "church's" pronouncements from spreading more quickly than they would otherwise.

      And all along I'd been thinking that the whole point of a church was to convert as many people to your cause as possible because the world will be so much better once that happens. And yes, MLK w

    • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:54PM (#14560501)
      Meanwhile the Vatican is defending copyrighting the Pope's pronouncements.

      Bah! Who needs the Pope. If god wants to talk to me, he'll send a flaming shrubbery. A nice one. But not too expensive.

    • by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah AT Gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @03:20PM (#14560796)
      When you think of it, DRM is not so incompatible with the bible.
      The whole tree of knowledge debacle was all about this.

      God is all like "No distribution of my IP".
      Then the Snake is all like "I haves the 0-day".
      And then Eve is all like "Adam, dude, here's a torrent".
      Adam to Eve "No way, God will totally rootkit our ass".
      Eve back to Adam "Chillax, guy".
      Then Adam is like "K".
      And God totally kickbans them from the server.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:33PM (#14559439)
    First of all, this has been around at Stanford since October 2005. This was covered at Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] a month and a half ago (including the Stanford on iTunes [stanford.edu] site and store [apple.com]).

    Second, this is also available at the University of Wisconsin - Madison [wisc.edu], as well as other schools, such as UC Berkeley [berkeley.edu].

    What's actually "new" here is that Apple has productized this service for educational institutions in the form of iTunes U [apple.com], announced yesterday.

    Though those who haven't heard of it before may be interested in Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement address at Stanford [apple.com].

    Please note that iTunes U operates on a different server (deimos.apple.com) than the normal music store (phobos.apple.com).
    • Please note that iTunes U operates on a different server (deimos.apple.com) than the normal music store (phobos.apple.com).

      Demios and Phobos are the moons of Mars (Terror and Fear, respectively)
    • by jd (1658)
      This was originally discussed [open.ac.uk] in the UK in 1926 and by 1970 you could study from the material transmitted and actually earn a degree from it. (Yes, 46 years is a long time to go from theory to fact, but the British Civil Service are notorious for delaying any good ideas politicians might have.)

      The biggest differences seem to be that a lot of the iTunes material is audio only, is not examinable material, but is available on the Internet. (There would be nothing to stop the BBC from simulcasting the OU materi

    • First of all, this has been around at Stanford since October 2005.

      Actually, it's been around a lot longer than that, I'm told. The national press was slow to pick up on the story.

    • The article in the Chronicle of Higher Education [chronicle.com] notes the six schools involved:

      Over the past year, Apple has worked with six institutions to test the service: Brown, Duke, and Stanford Universities; the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, at Ann Arbor; the University of Missouri School of Journalism, at Columbia; and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

      Universities also have the option of integrating the with local directory and authentication systems, requiring users to authenticate before use.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:33PM (#14559440)
    I already *paid* the $31,200 tuition you insensitive clod!
  • Harvard Extension (Score:5, Informative)

    by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:35PM (#14559471) Journal
    Harvard Extension, the night school at Harvard University, is experimenting with podcasting [podcastingnews.com] too. While a much smaller project, I look forward to a future where I can download official audio from classes that I missed due to illness or work schedule conflicts. And kudos to Stanford for opening up access to education and knowledge to the public.
    • by ToxikFetus (925966) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:48PM (#14559669)
      classes that I missed due to illness or work schedule conflicts

      You misspelled "hangovers" and "parties"

  • by nharmon (97591) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:36PM (#14559496) Homepage
    My experience in college has been that a teacher spends most of his/her time helping a relatively small minority of a class. So it would seem reasonable that the rest of the students could learn as much, or more, in a class using pre-recorded lectures over the internet.

    I would like to see this lead to a fairly nice public education model where online universities that are publicly subsidized allow students to take classes for free, and then the student pays for the teacher's time when he/she needs that extra help.
    • Wow, that'd be great. I can see it now: Student A, who has plenty of money, pays for regular "tutoring" sessions with the instructor, and thus recieves an excellent education. In contrast, student B is barely scraping by because he can't afford tutoring very often, since now that University is "free", there's no need for the government to offer financial aid, or at the very least, it can be drastically reduced, thus creating an economically stratified society the likes of which hasn't been seen since pre-en
    • yes I can see it now

      Google automates a fully K1-12 class with 3d avatar teachers and using traditional reading, you cannot (C) knowledge so it wouldnt
      be hard to hire 4 teachers per grade level and computerize the whole class texts/tests. English grammer/exams would be more difficult though
      even that is 50% A/B/C/D type questions. Think americas army game medical tutor.
  • Man, when I first read the headline, I thought they were teaching about iTunes. That would be a popular class.
  • by mccalli (323026) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:41PM (#14559565) Homepage
    This cropped up on macrumors.com last night, and I took the opportunity to grab the music tracks and a few lectures. I listened to "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" this morning - can thoroughly recommend it. I chose it purely based on the title, it turns out to be a lecture on the physiological nature of stress and was very interesting.

    The music? Well...I liked it, but sorry Stanford - it's mostly very derivative and most bands seem to be directly pretending to be another cmmercial one. What happened to colleges doing new forms of music and experimental stuff?

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:49PM (#14559675) Homepage
    Audio-only lectures are kind of pointless for most interesting content.

    A good project: develop an open-source way to transmit and store presentations in a useful and navigatable form. Lectures need three streams - the audio, the presenter's face, and the graphics. The graphics need to be at much higher resolution, and should be sent as clean still images when possible. One output should be a web page, with thumbnails for the graphics and clickable audio segments. Then you can find something in the lecture when you need it.

    The presentation should be run through a voice recognition system, to make the voice searchable. It doesn't have to be perfect, just good enough for search. Similarly, OCR the graphics and pull keywords from them.

  • Further proof (Score:2, Insightful)

    by guisar (69737)
    Education and knowledge seem to have no value- it's only the degree and the name at the top of the certificate which has any currency...
  • "Stanford on iTunes" are available to anyone willing to spend the few minutes it takes to download them from the Internet.'"

    Text books extra?

  • by rtphokie (518490) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:58PM (#14559779)
    "You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library."
  • Even Easier (Score:3, Informative)

    by ranton (36917) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:06PM (#14559906)
    I like that Universities may now make it even easier to learn on your own instead of wasting your time in school. I routinely go to course websites at MIT, University of Illinois (I live in the state), and other colleges to basically take the classes along with the students.

    They usually have quizes and homework posted along with solutions, and rarely have any passwords to get the information. I also can sometimes download blackboard screenshots, lecture notes, and even recordings of lectures. Sure beats sitting in class. And since I already run a company I dont need a peice of paper that says I am smart, so there is no need to go to college again.

    I guess if I ever decided to do some kind of research I could go back to college and actually finish this time, but I am in no hurry.
    --
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:07PM (#14559915)
    No need to pay the $31,200 tuition. No need to live on campus. No need even to be a student.

    Funny, that's exactly the way I felt about college when I went on tour with the Grateful Dead.
  • Somehow, I think that the $31,000 tuition figure is out of date by quite a few years.

    I go to a public school, and it's almost that much. Most of the privates are somewhere in the high 40s. The cost of education in America today is appaling especially if you're from a state that lacks a decent higher-education system.
    • Most elite private colleges are charging around $31,000/year in tuition and fees, give or take a thousand.

      Perhaps you mean tuition PLUS room and board? Yes, then you're getting into the low $40's; but in general you can avoid that after your freshman year in most colleges by living off-campus.
    • I think you're confusing "tuition" with "total cost". Tuition for good private schools is around $30-35,000 - and for some of the better public schools out-of-state, as well. If you go to a public school and are paying that much for in-state tuition - on TOP OF room, board, etc - well, you're getting screwed.

      Total cost, when you figure in room, board, living expenses, textbooks, etc, is in the $40k range, but tuition hasn't made it up there yet.

  • Is this available in Europe too? Or will we be excluded again like with every other cool content on iTunes Music Store (none of the TV series are available in Europe :(
  • I found a few that criticise US foreign policy, and I'm selling the recordings to that conservative dork I read about the other day!
    • I found a few that criticise US foreign policy, and I'm selling the recordings to that conservative dork I read about the other day!

      What?!?! Someone at an allegedly-elite American university criticizing America, particularly its foreign policy, and when there is a Republican in the White House, no less? Why, you'll be claiming Hitler was a racist, next!

  • by squarooticus (5092) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:15PM (#14560027) Homepage
    While you can get a good education at almost any college, and be forced to get one to a greater or lesser degree depending on how rigorous the curriculum is, the tuition pays for the credential: a Bachelor of Science from Stanford means a lot more to potential employers than "I listened to all the lectures and did all the problem sets required for a Stanford degree. No really, I did!"
  • According to this article [globetechnology.com], they were the first University to do so.

  • Stanford on iTunes (Score:5, Informative)

    by dantheman82 (765429) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:23PM (#14560133) Homepage
    There is no single class lecture on iTunes on Stanford's page. The faculty lectures are public-access lectures that have been recorded (audio-only) on campus and contain no class information. The "Heard on Campus" part is a bunch of PR material that has shown up on iTunes, including speeches by famous people (Steve Jobs, the Dalai Lama, etc.) and Stanford presidential speeches for all of you into that kinda thing. The entire presentation is a massive PR stunt between Apple and Stanford U. So, you can take the hype and chuck that as well...

    And as for the free content for UC Berkeley courses, we have only 100-level (or lower) classes which are basically prerequisites for a UC Berkeley education. I'm sorry to say that if you were looking for course content, you'll need to look elsewhere.

    So this leaves MIT, which actually does have a lot of content (although it depends on what is put up by the professor), like this page [mit.edu] if you are interested in Computer Language Engineering (upper-level, apparently).
  • by Landaras (159892) <neil@[ ]neman.com ['weh' in gap]> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:29PM (#14560218) Homepage
    This is a shameless plug, but it's on-topic.

    I've been recreating my law school lectures at the University of Cincinnati (where I am a first-year student focusing on copyright and technology law). Instead of recording the raw lecture audio, and dealing with the copyright and privacy concerns, I've been taking detailed notes, adding my own analysis, and capturing new creative expression. (Yes there are still some copyright issues, but my lawyer and I are in agreement that what I am doing does fall under Fair Use.) This new creative expression is then placed under CC-Attribution and the GNU FDL so others can do new and innovative things with it.

    I recorded roughly one 15-20 minute episode per lecture, with about 40 lectures in each of my four substantive classes.

    My episodes are available for manual download and in podcast format through the iTunes Music Store (search for "Life of a Law Student"). This semester I have recruited some additional students to come on board. This way we can expand to other law schools and to undergraduate law / political science courses.

    Here is the site [lifeofalawstudent.com], and I am still looking for students to help. Additionally, if you have technology skills (this is Slashdot after all), I need volunteers as we revamp our back-end software and deal with an influx of new material.

    Contact me [lifeofalawstudent.com] if you are interested in being a part of this.

    - Neil Wehneman

    P.S. For those who are wondering if my "re-lectures" are credible, I scored a 3.77 GPA last semester. Although I don't get my class rank for a few more days, I've been told by the administration that this should land me in the top 10% of the class.
  • Its good to see Stanford opening up there knowledge base to the public. I'm working on a project that is a little more accessible than that. http://www.globalizationstudies.org/ [globalizationstudies.org] The lectures are available as high quality h264 on itunes and on the website for free with a creative commons license. Link to itunes. http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/ viewPodcast?id=118462187&s=143455 [apple.com] The classes are broadcast live too. Class #3 starts tonight at 6pm MST and runs for 3 hours.
  • So the /. consensus is it's good to be able to hear lectures from Stanford, but bad to have acess to them at UCLA [slashdot.org]? It's a joke. Lighten up.
  • "No need to live on campus. No need even to be a student." That would be right, were it not the case that education has never been about "education" but is really about "signalling".
  • UC Berkeley recently implemented the hideous Blackboard courseware system. The biggest problem with it is that you -have- to login into it to see the course web site. It's closed to outsiders. Not all course web sites use it (for example CS/EE ones have their own web site) but professors from other departments too. Argh.. so stupid.
  • the obvious question is, is this material DRMed? if not, is there any way to access other than through itunes? (for us poor linux users?)

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

Working...