|Photo courtesy Nick Weinrauch, Flickr|
Continuing in a just-now-decided series of looks at "iTunes U in the Blogosphere," I refer now to a blog post from last year by Jim Groom, "5 reasons I don't like iTunesU." It is a good blog post, with many excellent comments posted afterwards.
Reason number one got my attention: "Don't trust anything without a URL." The blogger's point here is that URL-based hyperlinks which take the user to a browser is the one way to have a free and open internet environment. He quotes an article by Matt Gold, saying the "app store mentality is killing the internet."
I argued similarly in my blog post with Beyond Distance "The End of the World Wide Web Surf As We Know It?" where I wrote "app proliferation feels like a step backward into separate platform silos."
But now I am questioning myself. Is the fact that we acquire content by an application other than a browser an indication of less openness, less freedom on the web? If the application itself is free and readily available, perhaps that's enough. It should also be available on every operating system. Some criticise iTunes U solely on the basis that it does not run on Linux, and I will not say that is a trivial point.
But apps are here to stay, because mobile internet is here to stay. For many users, internet just has to be mobile; and in many cases and for many reasons with mobile internet, the app simply works better than the browser. So the goal of educators who believe in open educational resource (OER) sharing is to maintain a free and open internet environment, conducive to sharing of OERs, even if one uses an app.
What do you think? Please leave a comment!
Learning Technologist and SPIDER Investigator