iTunes U is sort of like that great local band that doesn’t get the national recognition it deserves – there’s a lot of quality there, but people just aren’t aware of its existence. In case you’re unfamiliar, iTunes U is a section within iTunes that provides users with an incredible amount of educational material such as lectures and slides from actual classes at some of the finest universities in the world, such as Harvard and MIT.
Last year, Stanford put videotaped lectures of its iPhone programming course, taught by actual Apple engineers, up on iTunes U and the interest was overwhelming. The videos quickly surpassed 1 million downloads and were ultimately downloaded 4.4 million times over the course of a few months. It should therefore come as no surprise that Stanford is once again making the course available, for free, to the world via iTunes U.
This semester, the course (iPhone Application Development) is taught by Josh Shaffer, Paul Marcos, and Alan Cannistraro, who all work for Apple. The content and objective of the course is largely the same, though the materials have been updated to keep it current with the latest iPhone OS SDK. We’re not sure if there’ll be any special guest lecturers this semester, but last year the course invited Stanford alum and former Apple engineer Loren Brichter to talk to the class and discuss his experience with developing for the iPhone and navigating the iTunes App Store. Brichter of course is the design genius behind the wildly popular Tweetie app for both the iPhone and Mac.
Currently, videos and slides from week 1 and 2 of the course are already up on iTunes and are well worth checking out if you have an interest in iPhone programming or even if you’re just curious as to what a course at Stanford looks like. Typically, material is updated on iTunes about 2 days after each class session.