Have you ever dreamed of learning a foreign language? Or maybe a statistics course at Harvard is more your speed. Thanks to iTunes university, you can access course materials uploaded by some of the best professors and instructors in the country without spending a dime.
iTunes U is compatible with the MAC, PC, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Using your iTunes console, you can access more than 500,000 free courses, along with material.
How It Works
Professors and instructors upload course materials to the console, which can then be accessed by students. But these courses aren’t limited to students taking courses at that university. The courses you see at iTunes U are free to everyone, giving you a great opportunity to learn something you’ve always wanted to learn. Simply subscribe to a particular course and a binder for that course will download into your iTunes account, organizing all of your training materials in one place.
The items on the pages of the binder are clickable, launching the various video, audio, and textbook files that relate to your course. As you complete a section of the course, you can check it off the list, allowing you to always keep up with where you are in a course. While much of the content is free, there are some courses that include paid downloadable content along with the free materials.
Ideal for Students
While iTunes U is great for the lifelong learner, it also provides a valuable opportunity for active students looking to supplement their learning. For the student studying statistics, for instance, reading, viewing, and listening to materials on the subject from Harvard University professors can give a perspective that will add to their learning.
iTunes U may also provide entry into a future where learning materials will be electronic, downloadable to any device. Just as many leisure readers have turned to electronic readers instead of paper novels, the student of the future won’t want to purchase printed materials when those same materials could be delivered electronically.
Additionally, the famous application provides a way for teachers to communicate with students. If a project deadline is impending, for instance, the teacher can post a message to all of those subscribed. The students will then receive a notification of a new message waiting.
Get iTunes U
The iTunes U app can be downloaded free online or found in the App Store. You’ll find the interface similar to iBooks and, in fact, many of the textbooks are delivered in iBooks format. The apllication will require you to have iOS 5.0 or later.
But you don’t have to download the app to see what has to offer. By clicking on the application in iTunes, you can browse by subject and see the top courses currently being offered. Classes exist for every interest, from how-to writing classes to a Yale course, helping you further your interest and knowledge of a subject.
While users rave about the possibilities this app can eventually provide, users currently complain about how many times it crashes while in use. Also, the fact that a separate app has to be employed to use iTunes U seems to bother some users.
However, iTunes U is giving the general public a glimpse into what a course at an Ivy League university is like, thanks to Harvard University and Stanford University on iTunes U, among others. For the universities, it’s a great way to preview offerings for potential future students, with undecided high schoolers trying out a variety of courses at different colleges before making a final decision on where to attend.
There’s no denying, the delivery of classroom content will soon begin to change. With technology taking up so much of our society today, it’s only a matter of time before all classroom content is delivered online. iTunes U provides opportunity to those who have a desire to continue to learn without having to pay exorbitant college tuition.
If you have any questions, or would like to share your personal experience with iTunes U, please leave your comment. We’d love to hear from you!