Today after updating my iTunes I discovered a new feature that made me really happy… not the iTunes Plus (yes it’s a great thing)… but the new iTunes U.
For the people that doesn’t know it, this is a part of iTunes where various Universities put lessons and lectures for free available for everyone. Internet has been created to share knowledge and this is for now it’s final application. Wikipedia was the first one to create the “share-knowledge” idea and to create a platform where people shared their own knowledge to others, but as we all know inside wikipedia there are a lot of mistakes and false information and lots of times the people that make wikis can’t be called experts.
Now iTunes gave to the world a place where people can find certified, university level information and for free… incredible… at the moment I’m studying communication in Switzerland, but now I feel like I’m taking lessons also at the MIT and Stanford, I am able right now to learn form the greatest minds in the world without taking a jet-plane or bending time and space ;-)… That’s the future… sharing information with the world and this application is a start… a really good start. Till now I was a subscriber of various podcasts that were providing me with the type of information and knowledge that I need, the best one I use (and the one I recommend) is TED, is a podcast where great people with great ideas share them to the world and the video are available on-line for free… now there will be a new source for my knowledge and is free and come from great institutions. Now there is a place where people can learn more and there is no more the excuse “is too expensive to attend classes”, now they are free (ok not all them of course, but good ones).
What Universities gain in this way? Giving knowledge for free? Simple notoriety, they can show the world how great is their university, so to have more donations and also people coming at their universities.
Apple with this thing made an home run… lots of knowledge for free… great… no more excuses to stay ignorant…