Virtual University- ‘Building on iTunes U – Global Textbook Station’

17 Sep

If we have Internet, mostly I guess broadband Internet, why should we ridiculously spend hundreds of dollar on paper textbooks? How about establish a ‘virtual university’ for Open Educational Resource? Here, the ‘virtual university’ is not the same as online university for distant education to meet the demands of students who are not able to physically go to lectures or tutorials on campus. The ‘Virtual University’ is for Open Textbook – global-based educational resource station. In this international platform, university students learning the same or similar courses can join together to share and discuss their required textbooks and learning materials. Who will make these required textbooks accessible without students’ great amount of expenditure? The university, the government support, private law firms, philanthropist… Yes! We need their support! Is that possible? Let’s have a look at a possibly VirtualUniversity-to-be Model– iTunesU. (Maybe some of you or most of you have already experienced it).

iTunes U is basically more like a showroom for actual courses running at universities worldwide. It is indeed free of charge, allowing open subscription and review forum for anyone in the world. Though it’s still a bit far from ‘Virtual University’ in the perspective of Open Textbook, however, it’s much easier to achieve the goal of Open Textbook via building on iTunes U.

What I think is that each university that already existed in iTunes U publishes their Textbook lists according to requirements of different faculties. The access of Open Textbooks in iTunes U is controlled and limited by students’ ID (i.e. student number or Uni-pass). It means only students who have enrolled in the programs within universities can access the Textbooks Resource.

If ‘iTunes U-Global Textbook Station’ is able to be successfully established, it will dramatically increase the variety and accessibility of textbooks and learning materials which cannot be found or accessed in our own university. It will possibly leads a global study forum with professionals, educators and students to discuss and tackle the problems that experience during reading and studying the textbooks. As a result, it tends to give the editors and authors of the textbooks a much clearer and more reasonable direction of what should be improved and changed for ‘new editions’ rather than unnecessary minor changes for profit intentions.

How do you think the idea of ‘iTunes U-Global Textbook Station’?


Posted by on September 17, 2012 in #mdia3005, @TextbookFair, z3310337


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4 responses to “Virtual University- ‘Building on iTunes U – Global Textbook Station’

  1. JiaXin Guo

    September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    good idea. our textbooks are sooooo expensive. and the edition are frequently updated without too much change in the content. sometimes we buy the new one and cant sell them the next year.

    • textbookfair

      September 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      That’s true! It is important to make the most use of used textbooks. Probably converted them to electronic version available for further updates!

  2. rubiedickson

    October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Our textbooks are extremely expensive, and the thing is, I have so many that haven’t even been opened! And the next year it’s impossible to sell them because a new edition has been released. An electronic textbook app would be fantastic and would allow for yearly (even monthly updates)! Even though I finish uni in a couple of weeks, I’ll be watching this textbook debate closely.
    What a fantastic idea.

    • textbookfair

      October 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks for your support! Come together we can make a change!
      If the textbook app succeeded, you could still benefit from it if you consider postgraduate study or other further studies at uni:)


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