Posted by: crudbasher | April 28, 2010

Apple and Censoring Education – academhack blog

If you have been following technology lately you might know that one of the big trends right now is trying to turn what was free content into paid content.  Sites like Hulu might start charging for access, News Corp is going to put their London newspapers content behind a paywall, and sites like Netflix are having to negotiate with movie studios on how the movies will be made available.

Look, what is happening here is all these media companies looked at what Apple did with iTunes and music.  The music companies lost control of the pricing structure and delivery mechanisms.  They didn’t understand how the Internet changed things for music.  Now it is time for the same change to come to video and print media and the various content providers are freaking out.  They really, really want to be players in this new gold rush.  Therefore everyone and their mother is throwing up a content distribution system.  TVs are now going to have internet access via their manufactuers “portals”.  Apple, Adobe, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to name a few are in a full fledged war for content.

Then you can throw “net neutrality” on the pile too.  ISPs are trying to increase their revenues too by controlling access to content, just like everyone else. The difference is the Government is trying to jump in there. I think they want to tax and control the Internet, like they are doing with everything else these days.

I like freedom. I believe that markets will eventually sort it out and come up with a model that works through trial and error.  If Apple tries to block too many things, then people will go elsewhere.

Anyway, please check out this interesting article about what Apple censoring Apps means for Education.  Especially now that the iPad is being aggressively pushed into Education.

  • Some really good thoughts on Apple and censorship

    tags: education, ipad, technology

    • What Dan made me wonder/realize is that by using iPads for educational purposes schools, both higher ed and secondary/primary ed, would be opening themselves up to censorship by Apple. In other words as I tweeted this morning:
    • Apple might block anything that in their reasonable judgement they think is “obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.” This as far as I am concerned is a dangerous situation, Apple as moral censor. Now certainly it is within their legal rights to do so, but the question is whether or not it is a good idea for us to enter this contract (and by us I mean both users and developers).
    • Now consider the possible futures. Will Apple censor political apps that one might want to use in your classroom?
    • for higher ed, where we are not subject to the same school board politics, this would certainly be accepting a larger set of restrictions than we are used to. Again having one corporation serve as a media hub for both software, hardware, and now content, strikes me as a future we ought to resist.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. Do you think that every model out there opens itself up to this in some manner? I’m even thinking about the current education system. There is a lot of censorship that is already happening in education. Sometimes it comes from new policies (RTTT or NCLB) and sometimes it comes from administration, school boards, or the curriculum we are currently using. For example, schools can’t just buy pieces of a curriculum that best fit their student populations needs. They have to purchase the entire curriculum. These are usually quite scripted and narrow in focus. Many schools don’t allow teachers any wiggle room within the curriculum. They must teach it as it appears to pass this test or that test.
    In my mind, even if Apple heads toward some censoring with apps, there is still much more freedom than what we currently have. And if/when the censorship gets out of hand, their tools will cease to be relevant in the classroom. I think for now this is a good discussion and good to be thinking about, but lets not call wolf just yet.

    • I agree Apple hasn’t done this yet. They in fact may not ever do this. However, I think situations like this are more likely to arise when there is no competition. As you point out the current education system is like that. If you don’t like NCLB or RTTT what can you do as a parent? Yes you can send your child to private school, but you are still paying taxes to support the public system. Many people can’t afford that.

      The problem with censorship of any kind is that some people are ok with it as long as the things they don’t believe in are what is being censored. I find it ironic that some people who talk about being tolerant of other views are usually the ones hostile to anyone who disagrees with them. 🙂

      As always, thanks for commenting!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Barras. Andrew Barras said: New Blog Post: Apple and Censoring Education #edchat #fspln […]

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