Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Michigan dental students can watch lectures on iPods

University of Michigan dental students who sleep through a lecture can turn to their iPods to catch up on what they missed.Apple Computers Inc. is giving students at the School of Dentistry access to the lectures free of charge in an MP3 compressed digital data file format on an iTunes Internet site. Students can download them onto their iPods and watch them wherever - and whenever - they want."The first thought is that this is fanciful, working out and walking or drinking coffee while listening to a lecture, but it is growing," said Brock Read, a researcher for the Chronicle of Higher Education. "There are about a dozen universities involved so far."

Some express doubts about the trend.

"My concern is students not taking notes will have a lasting effect on their true mastery of the material," Michigan Technological University humanities Professor William Kennedy told The Detroit News for a story Tuesday.

Internet access to lectures is nothing new. But the extreme portability that the MP3 format offers is."It's not a better way of learning or a worse way. It's just a new way. Our way," said dental student Jared Van Ittersum. "It's about maximizing our time. But, frankly, there have been a couple of lectures, early morning ones, where I just didn't get up."

"It's kind of hard while you are taking notes in a hurry to write something like parvo cellular nucleus," Lopez said. "I reviewed one lecture the other night for an exam, and I picked up on several points that I had missed in my notes."Lopez said the technology also allowed him to skip one lecture to attend a sonogram examination of his unborn child.


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