News on Knowledge Sharing

In the old days, people rely more on memories to recall what they have seen or learned, rather than on documented knowledge. The good thing is that the memories were then used often, and therefore they became quite strong. The knowledge could be passed over to the next generations without any problems.

Today, whilst observations still play important roles, we tend to rely more on documented materials for learning things. Books, videos, recorded voices, slide presentations, etc., are part of daily learning tools. Memories are used less often, since people can easily find the information they need, anytime they want. Sooner or later our memories, and the brain, will become weak and short.

With the availability of cheap pocket calculators, brains have even become lazier. It doesn't mean, however, that those tools are not good. We just need to use it in a way that they will not degrade severely our brain; brain does need plenty exercises to keep it strong.

These days, I'm still dreaming the day when people are not only enjoying music with their hand-phones or iPod, but they can also take courses or listen to learning materials while hitting the busy road of Jakarta, or anywhere they go. This learning-on-the-road method is actually one of the ideas behind the inception of The Aroengbinang Project.

I was therefore quite enthusiastic when reading one of the summaries in Apple Hot News RSS feed that I subscribe about iTunes® U.

On May 30, 2007, Apple® announced the launch of iTunes® U, a dedicated area within iTunes Store containing free content such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top US colleges and universities.

Whilst the campus tours seems more like advertising to me, I'm more interested in knowing the content of the course lectures and language lessons. Since content from iTunes U can be loaded onto an iPod® , learning can hopefully be as enjoyable as listening to favorite music.

In the (near) future I hope that there will be iTunes Indonesia (Steve, when will you make it available?) where lectures of top speakers from all over the country can be freely downloaded and then listened, viewed and learned from an iPod or iPhone.

It's true that knowledge sharing have been around for quite sometime, particularly with the explosion of the internet media, but the information are scattered across the web and are mostly used by researchers.

With a big name like Apple throwing its support behind the knowledge sharing through iTunes U, the buzz would probably be quite different. It will of course depends on how successful Apple can attract top speakers to share their wisdom through iTune U.

Just a few minutes back, I watched Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address that I downloaded from iTunes U. I can tell you that it's still quite inspiring to me to watch Steve delivered his speech, even though I have read the stories from his unofficial biography and magazines. I still love it. If you don't hate Apple or Steve Jobs, open your iTunes, click iTunes Store, find iTunes U, and download it. You will love it. Guaranteed.

Well, let me hear your comments then. Enjoy.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: June 19, 2007.

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