Apple’s iTunes U program is a special area within iTunes that lets Universities provide educational content (lectures, lab demonstrations etc.) typically available only to paying students to the public at large. While some of the content is restricted to students who attend a specific university, the breadth and diversity of information available to the masses is simply astounding.
One of the more popular courses on iTunes U is an iPhone programming course from Stanford University that is typically taught by current Apple engineers and is made publicly available as a video podcast just 2 days after each class session. While iTunes U doesn’t garner a lot of press, it has certainly attracted a lot of user attention, with the aforementioned Stanford iPhone course generating over 1 million downloads in just a few months. Meanwhile, the cumulative number downloads from iTunes U surpassed 100 million back in December.
Now comes word that Harvard University will make some of its course content available for public consumption via iTunes U. And it’s in good company – in addition to Stanford, some of the other top flight universities already participating in iTunes U include UCLA, MIT, Oxford, and Princeton.
“Knowledge quickly becomes inert without a means of easy and open access. The new iTunes channel is yet another fantastic way of allowing everyone from the curious amateur to the professional scholar to explore the amazing intellectual breadth of Harvard,” said Cherry A. Murray, dean of the Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
You can check out Harvard’s launch page at itunes.harvard.edu.