Bud Tribble at the Apple Digital Campus Institute at Harvard

I am sitting in a nice classroom at Harvard Unviersity at the Apple Digital Campus Leadership Institute in Science Education listening to Bud Tribble. The focus of the event as you can guess is science education … not exactly my space, but still very interesting. I am here with Kyle Peck as we attempt to plan our own symposium in the ADC mode. Bud Tribble is a smart guy … he has both a Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Washington and has been all over the computer industry for the last 20 some years — from the original Macintosh team, to NeXT, to SUN, and now back at Apple, Bud has been a real leader in the industry.

I was actually lucky enough to spend an hour with Bud about a year ago as I was working on a paper related to digital expression in the higer education space — really looking at how the Mac OS could play much better in existing infrstructure on our campuses. I was pushing Apple on the idea that students at places like Penn State shouldn’t have to have a .Mac account to play nicely with iLife. The conversation quickly moved into his areas of interest and it was a relatively terrifying experience. Did I mention the guy is smart? We ended up talking quite a bit about identity management and it was just a great hour.

Here he is going over the Apple advantage in science education … as with all things Apple in education at the moment, there is a lot of podcasting talk. The best point so far has been something in passing — that it isn’t important to focus on high production value, the point is to think about the pedagogical soundness of the approach … his example is the Electric Pickle video podcast. Talking iTunes U and how it all works … makes it sound so easy … not a person blinked at the “we host it for you” comment. Had a nice slide titled, “Click. Sync. Learn.” Interesting concept … I wonder if we could use something along the lines of “Create. Sync. Teach.” to get faculty engaged … does that work?  If the response I got to my podcasting talk the other day at the Web 2006 conference is any indication, we won’t need it.

Lots of product overviews, but the good thing is the comment that Apple delivers a complete solution — all the UNIX tools as well as the standard tools we need — like Office.  But as time when on, we returned to podcasting and how it can connect people to concepts that are difficult to teach.  All in all an interesting discussion.  Bud is a smart guy and I enjoy hearing him talk.

2 Replies to “Bud Tribble at the Apple Digital Campus Institute at Harvard”

  1. Interesting comments, Cole. I had a different reaction to Bud’s comments. Apple “doesn’t get” the whole process of teaching and learning, and therefore doesn’t understand how important their products can be.

    They use a simple three-part cycle, something like “create, deliver, manage,” (or somehting like that) when in reality the stages on both the learning and teaching sides have many more steps. Educators design, create, and deliver content, and they evaluate studnet work, remediate to eliminate misconceptions, and document the quality of learning for program improvemenet and accreditation purposes. (At least the good ones do.) Students access learning content, process it (which is best done in a social situation, with other learners), produce something with what they have learned, self assess, peer assess, submit their products, process feedback, and then either try again to demonstrate learning or document their progress in portfolios. (At least the good ones do. (-: )

    Anyway, when you look at each of those steps you see POWERFUL ways that technologies can improve teaching and learning — especially when the software tools at your disposal include Apple’s suite with products like iChat, Garage Band, iMovie, iWeb, etc. When we do our symposium, I hope we make that clear, and that we are successful in encouraging professors to incorporate technologies in more steps of the teaching and learning cycles, at the points where they see the most opportunity to improve the process.

    Thanks for thinking with me about this. It’s coming together.

    Kyle {(}-;

  2. Bud’s comments seemed to stop short of the potential … he is a very smart guy with a lot to offer, but I think he could have been used a little better at the event. His areas of expertise are not in delivering marketing messages. I am actually very excited to keep our thoughts flowing as we attempt to extend Apple’s model into more of the pieces of the puzzle … I know I use it a lot, but we need to focus on the entire value chain here … not just on what the tools can do, but how do you get to faculty and students to use them all the way through the ideas of assessment, revision, reflection, and so on.

    Welcome to the blogosphere, Kyle! Wonderful few days with you thinking about how we can extend ourselves and Apple as we push towards our symposium. I wonder if we should set up a blog space to plan our ideas in the open? That would be interesting.

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