Business Learning on Your iPhone

Taking classroom courses and learning to you, this great article by Mashable lists a number of different iPhone apps offering mobile eLearning options. App prices range from free to moderately paid, while some are tied to a web site or online library.  The list includes a free iPhone version of an application called Curatr, which I have previously reviewed here in the Studio. Another very cool add is the reference to iTunes U – offering programs from top colleges and universities around the world, including Ohio State University’s Lunch and Learn Series on Wellness, Yale University’s course on Financial Markets, or Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series, via iTunes.

What are you waiting for? Get to class!

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More Internet Demographics Infographics

Want to know who is using your favorite social network? SocialTimes compiled the information and drew up this pretty chart with tiny boxes representing percentages by age, income level, educational level, and yes, gender. Each little box is a percentage point, so stippling is a given. Twitter and Facebook are predominantly female, while Digg and Reddit are predominantly male. What really makes this infograhic rock for me is the use of the Benjamin Franklin quote:

Be civil to all;

Sociable to many;

Familiar with few;

Friend to one;

Enemy to none.

Think this still holds true in the digital age?

Hit the jump here to socialtimes to get a bigger picture on the big picture.

Thinking About Law School? Check Out These Blogs!

A typical juris doctor diploma, here from Suff...
Image via Wikipedia

A good lawyer understands the importance and value of due diligence. OnLine Courses has compiled a list of 100 blog posts they believe you should read before going to law school. Topics include: getting in; getting started; paying for school; getting a job; getting through law school; making the most of the education offered; getting the skinny from those who have gone before; test taking; and lawyers, the law, career paths and opportunities.

I guess calling this list cursory would be an understatement and calling it comprehensive would be overstating the obvious!

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The Internet At 40

Internet at 40

The Studio is taking a techie-geeky side-road detour and is offering this great podcast / interview called “The Internet At 40”. Included are interviews with John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and author of ‘A brief history of the future – the origins of the internet’ and a newly recorded interview with Rodney Harrison, lecturer in Heritage Studies at the Open University, talking about Second Life and virtual communities. The cast is conducted by radio journalist Penny Boreham.  Hit the jump here for the recording – it’s fascinating.

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Focus on Outcome, Not Income

All right, I admit that my title isn’t quite accurate, but it does have  that alliterative quality that makes for a memorable catch-phrase. What I am refering to here is a thought-provoking post at Clinician’s With Not Enough To Do regarding a shift in the focus of higher education to stress “outcome” over “input.”  The author, Carolyn Grose, is a member of the “Future of Legal Education Task Force”, a force I am certain is paying close attention these days to the problem of helping crops of new attorneys hit the ground running as traditional legal jobs dry up.

The post excerpts a presentation to the William Mitchell College of Law outlining the Task Force’s progress to date on how to render legal education responsive to the needs of modern lawyers and their firms and clients. In keeping with the American Bar Association’s recent injunctions regarding accreditation, the Task Force opines that legal education needs to shift from “input” to “output.” “Input” is what students are taught. “Output” is what students know and can perform. This boils down to increasing the “practical wisdom” of students passing out of the third year and into the real world.

Seems a Herculean task. But a laudable goal without a doubt. In keeping with an “outcome”-driven approach, the Task Force suggests working backwards in designing the curriculum. The first step in this backward progress is identifying desired “outcomes” for law grads. The areas of proficiency deemed most important include: basic legal knowledge of core subject matter and legal systems, process and source of law; the skills of analysis, research, communication, and representation; and, professional conduct and judgment in the use of knowledge and skills.

None of these “outcomes” seem particularly earth-shattering: they track the same “outcomes” my school seemed interested in imparting 20 years ago. My question is:  What does the Task Force suggest regarding the degree of emphasis to be placed on each outcome? In other words, how much effort should be placed upon instruction in “core” subjects and how much should be focused on research, writing, analytics, organization and communication, both written and oral?

I believe the answer should lie, at least in part, in educators’ assessments of how easy it will be for a fresh attorney to glean the knowledge and skills after graduation. Emphasis should be placed on the knowledge and skills that are peculiar to the profession or more difficult to learn without academic guidance. Students cannot bank on the chance that they will find their personal “Yoda” who will help them use the “Force” to defeat the Dark Side; good mentors are few and far between in the real world. Who has time to help a new associate understand how to navigate a completely unfamiliar area of law and cogently explain his or her findings to a partner focused, now more than ever, on the elusive bottom line? When will the most prestigious law schools “buy” this “outcome”-based approach and drop the pretense that ivory-tower academics should win out over practical skills training – the nuts and bolts of the average lawyer’s every day practice ? Until there is a major shift in perceptions across academic institutions and the largest firms regarding what really matters in practice, there is unlikely to be widespread change regarding the nature of legal education.

Which brings me back around to my original point: the title of this post. Maybe it isn’t that far off the mark, after all.

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