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Education as portable as a pop song

Your next class may fit in your pocket, according to John Austin of the Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram. Distance learning is becoming "as portable as a pop song", a phrase I loved enough to use as the headline for this post. The article lists numerous success stories including one guy who works on an off-shore oil-rig, another who teaches cardiology and uses the iPod to help his students learn the distinctive sounds of heart murmurs, and distance learners who otherwise live their life on airplanes.

Going virtual means adapting content. Amber Finn of Texas Christian University talks in the article about how she learned to shorten her lectures and mix up her presentations to make them work better as portable media. One thing the article points out, which is often missed in this kind of coverage, is the additional costs of spoken over printed media. Given the high price of in-class instruction, whether for evening or regular University classes, I'm guessing there may be a long term savings for students despite short term cost increases.

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