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New Media

teacher in your pocket

What I really like about this Apple email ad is how it quietly suggests that to learn, you need an iPhone. Buy the phone and get the content for free.

Having just bought an iPhone and committed myself for two years of at&t, I couldn’t agree more. I need a good ROI.

Forever curious.
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From lectures to documentaries to museum tours, iTunes U lets you learn anything, anytime, anyplace.
Now your favorite destination for music and movies is also a great place to entertain your brain. iTunes U in the iTunes Store offers free audio and video content from top universities, famous museums, public media stations, and other cultural institutions. So whether you want to learn from the world’s leading thinkers, get a sneak peek at the latest MoMA exhibition, or simply brush up on your Spanish, iTunes U makes it easy. To see for yourself,watch the tutorial.

This is an interesting ad for a close read. Teacher – and teaching – has been iPhoneized: captured, in the phraseology of knowledge management, to be processed later. The technology dominates, even to the extent that the professor – pictured at the business end of his own concrete tether – is now captured on screen, for access – or not – anytime, anyplace. Play, pause, rewind. The copy, too, glosses over any human construction or creation of content or ideas. Content comes predominantly from universities, museums, public media stations (BBC and NPR I guess). “Learn from the world’s leading thinkers” is the only nod.

Anytime and anyplace because the content is recorded. Perhaps the obvious use of the iPhone (or any 3G phone) for on-the-spot-just-in-time teaching and learning from a teacher/mentor is just too obvious to mention. Anytime anyplace is pretty hackneyed. Come to think of it, so is “entertain your brain.”

But really the ad promises no more than you could get from a local library: books and magazines. A good parody for reading would play on this matter. Use books for iPhones, adjust the copy just a little, or use it against itself, and link visit your local lending library. Get outside. Meet people. Have a coffee. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask someone.

Or call me. I still have to justify my new phone for teaching.