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It took a good few years for most academics to accept the notion of online classes, and many still aren’t there yet. So try this one on for size: a college class in Japan is being taught entirely on cell phones. Now, not only can you “go to class” in pajamas, but you can do so while watching YouTube videos and chatting on IM… because– seriously – your computer can’t sit there idle for an entire class period.

The class is taught via Cyber University in Tokyo, which offers only online (and now, mobile) classes. The class consists of a powerpoint presentation downloaded to students’ handsets, accompanied by streaming audio of the professor’s lecture.

The university is majority-owned by Softbank, a dominant Japanese carrier. And herein lies the catch: the classes are currently only available on select Softbank phones. This will be an interesting company to watch, as I’m curious to see if this single class spirals into a full-fledged marketing play.

As a sidenote— the topic for the class: “Mysteries of the Pyramids.” Random for a jumping off point, no?

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One Response to “Phoning It In”

  1. Jill Says:

    Ack! I’ve been yelling at my students all semester for texting in class. Don’t encourage the little buggers.

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