Thursday, August 14, 2008

Be Like Stanford

Do you remember the old "Be Like Mike" commercials featuring Michael Jordon? Those commercial - I'm not even sure what the product was - were succesful because Michael Jordon was the best in his profession. The lesson, I think, is that when you want to be the best at what you do, model your behavior on the best in your field. We can't be Michael Jordon, but maybe we can be like Mike. In education, you could pick any number of schools, but for now let's consider Stanford. I must admit I'm jealous of schools like Stanford for their enviable location. Forgetting for a moment the weather, consider how many dynamic, technology-rich companies there are in the Palo Alto area. With that much innovation in the region, it's not surprising that Stanford would be driven to innovate as well. It's not just that you have access to the brain-power and the demand for new courses and programs, you also have to have the institutional infrastructure and support to be able to quickly develop these courses and roll them out. Someone - maybe everyone - at Stanford realizes the importance of being able to react quickly to market needs and demands - much more quickly than the typical glacial pace of the academic approval process. Maybe we can't be Stanford, but we can "Be Like Stanford!" If you have Tuesday and Thursday afternoons free you might want to sign up!

Wired Campus: Stanford U. Lists Course on iPhone Programming for the Fall -
Fans of Apple gadgets have been happily blogging about a listing in Stanford University’s course catalog for the fall that includes what might be the first college course on programming for the iPhone.

The course is listed as being taught by “Marcos,” and the word is that the professor will be Paul Marcos, a long-time Apple employee. Officials for Stanford’s computer-science department could not be reached for comment.

Stanford has been quick to offer courses on new technology in the past. Last year it offered a course on programming applications for Facebook, which became a huge hit.

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