I went back to school this week. I started taking a class on Programming Methodology at Stanford University. But instead of flying to California 3 times a week for class, I’m simply turning on my iPad. I am taking this course through iTunesU and I’m blown away. I had one of those moments where I realized that education had forever changed as a result of this new technology.
I know that nothing will ever take the place of the classroom experience. After I finish these classes, I cannot stay after class and discuss the materials with my classmates. But with iTunesU, I have the ability to take courses at Universities that I was not admitted to, view all of the lectures on video, and take the same tests that the students are taking.
What is iTunesU?
iTunesU is an app available on your iPhone or iPad that provides a way to take courses from universities around the world. It is possible to also take these courses within iTunes on a desktop or laptop. When I complete one portion of the class on one device, that is reflected on my other devices.
The classes are packaged together with all individual lecture content stored together. For the Programming Methodology course I am taking right now, I can view the lecture video, read all course materials corresponding to that lecture in PDF format, and view my assignments. I can even take the midterm and final exams through iTunesU. I am also impressed to see that I can take notes during the video lecture and that a marker is placed on the video timeline showing me the exact spot where I took the notes. Also, with my AppleTV setup at home, I can actually watch the lecture on my flat screen while taking notes on the iPad.
Here are a list of some of the available classes on iTunesU:
- Statistical Reasoning at Johns Hopkins
- Intro to Computer Science at Harvard
- Early Middle Ages at Yale
- Virology at Columbia
- Introduction to Algorithms at MIT
I encourage you to give up TV for one night a week and begin taking classes on iTunesU. Did I mention that most of the classes are free?
If you are already using iTunesU, what are your favorite classes?