Apple continues to change the world. The Apple’s iTunes U provides access to more than 350,000 free lectures, videos and other materials from universities and institutions worldwide, including Oxford, Stanford and Yale. Institutions include MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), the New York Public Library, Public Radio International and PBS stations. With more 800 universities having active iTunes U sites and approximately half distributing their content in the iTunes Store, this is serious education and a serious abundance of information. Through iTunes. For free.
Apple’s lure to the universities: “…people all over the world can access your institution’s media. With an open iTunes U presence, your school can gain recognition — not to mention a competitive edge — as you reach out and share your knowledge.”
“Students” can download iTunes U audios and videos one at a time or subscribe to an entire course. All new times on the subscribed course download automatically as soon as they become available.
Universities and institutions can label their iTunes U content private, and password protected, for access only by their students and faculty. Many, however, take the public access route and make their offerings available to everyone on a public iTunes U site — such as those created by Yale, Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Vanderbilt, Arizona State and broadcasters like PBS. All the materials (i.e. lectures, lab demonstrations, historical footage) in each of their U sites are always free.
At Stanford U, you could attend a virtual astronomy lecture on Space: The Hunt for Hidden Dimensions. How about a browse through the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Or go inside the Harvard Law School right after taking in a lecture on Statistics 101 at the Harvard pod. Poli-Sci major? You’d love the Institute of Politics – John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. These are just a few of the offerings, which cover a wide range of topics. All available for free on your iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac.
As an aside, some of the iTune U participants, such as Yale, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, have open web courses on their own sites as well.
So if you’re feeling the need for more education in 2012, enrollment is just few clicks away.
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