Monday, September 10, 2007

Online lectures big HIT on iTUNES

MIT’s Professor Lewin has proves a smash hit with his online physics lectures. “It sounds arrogant, I know, but it’s better to see a first class lecture on video than a mediocre one in the flesh”.

Use the FREE stuff because it’s better. This is a simple solution to a massive problem. Students are already voting with their fingers and dumping their third-rate, real, local lectures for first-rate, online, global lectures. The same can apply to most standard teaching and training lectures.

The traditional model is to have poor lectures which are never recorded. The very idea of not giving students a second bite of the cherry is absurd. If you were a journalist or novelist, you wouldn’t dream of standing up and only giving people one chance to hear your work. Publishing has been around since the 15th century, it’s about time teaching and training caught up.


Sophie P said...

I'll say it once i'll say it again:

"Just proof that if you do it well enough everyone will want to listen in!!!"


Unknown said...

Here is a potential solution --- recently initiated a “soft launch” without any announcements or fanfare while adding new presentations and working out some preliminaries in the Beta stage. Now adding quality presentations in the Training and eLearning sector and are seeking ‘Charter’ Content Owners to add their presentations to the mix.

See how it works at

Anonymous said...

Donald - this post is, amazingly, 4 years almost to the day since I flagged the videos of Lewin's wonderful lectures in pre-blog Fortnightly Mailing.

I guess the real change since then has been the widespread availability of devices for viewing video without needing to be on line, and the changes in habits engendered by Google Video and YouTube.

As an aside, Google's Director of Research Peter Norvig made a similar point when he compared the fact that we choose to listen to the best interpretations of, say, Bach, but still have to struggle, broadly, to find the best explanations of concepts, during his keynote at last week's ALT Conference (viewable - for the moment only within a pre-downloaded Elluminate client - from


Damien DeBarra said...

I had a goodly rummage through iTunesU yesterday after seeing the Guardian post. Found some interesting tidbits up there - notably a New Jersey Institute of Technology podcast course on 'Instructional Design'.

I've downloaded the first batch out of curiosity, which deal with the basics of e-learning evolution (even if they insist on calling it CBT or WBT). Now calm yourself - there's references to Gagne, but my God, isn't it amazing that this kind of thing is so readily to hand for anyone starting out in Digital Learning Environments? I recall having to fight tooth and nail to find this kind of information on the web seven or eight years ago.

Here's hoping that they get around to convincing Irish, UK and European universities to follow suit.

Sophie P said...

Hi Donald,

I'm still fighting the good fight with you, plus the battle to open up social networking sites to students.

check out my blog if you have a spare moment at

Sophie (aoc-nilta net generation girl)

Anonymous said...

I agree for certain learning tasks video is much better than the html stuff you see on some 'e-learning' sites.

Following on your blogs about BBC Jam, are about to announce what they're going to do next. On Thursday (20th) Jana Bennett BBC's Director of Vision is announcing her strategy (see So more lumpy overpriced Jam? Or something as simple and cost effective as Professor Lewin?

Vicki said...

Hey there!
I came across your link via an Unschooling network. How cool! I must tell you that I've enjoyed reading your blog and plan to share it with my Funschooling son.

Nice meeting you!