Do you or anyone in your home own an iPhone or an iPod? If you do, then you probably have iTunes on your computer. iTunes is a free software program designed by Apple, and available for free on Mac and PC computers with or without an iPod, that has several different functions.
1. It allows you to move music CD's onto your computer to listen to or put on your iPod/iPhone.
2. It has an online store that allows you to purchase songs, TV shows, movies and IPod applications.
3. It allows you to explore and subscribe to free podcasts of radio shows (NPR), news segments (BBC, CNN, FOX), and much more.
But did you know that iTunes has a special section just for continued learning? That section is called iTunes U. In 2007 Apple launched an entire section of the iTunes store dedicated solely to free content from top universities. The posted content included campus tours, language courses, and audio/video recordings of entire class courses. As of today, iTunes U has grown from 5 to over 175 participating higher education organizations and has reached over 100 million downloads. Organizations include MIT, Harvard University, Oxford, Stanford University and many more.
Tapping into the wealth of free learning on iTunes U is fairly simple. First, you must have iTunes on your computer and you need to be connected to the internet. If you don't already have it, you can download it for free at www.apple.com/itunes/download for both PC and Mac. To find iTunes U just visit the iTunes store. To visit the iTunes store, click on the link in the choices on the left side of iTunes. (It looks like a green shopping bag.) When in the store, you will see a black bar across the top of the page with different options; one of them should be iTunes U. Can't find it? Don't worry! You can also scroll down to the very bottom of the iTunes store and you will find a link for it there, too.
Once you have arrived at the iTunes U page, you can explore the newest and most popular content. You can also browse by content provider or use the store search in the top right corner of iTunes to look for something specific. When you find something you are interested in, just click on it and you will be taken to a page that describes the content and allows you to either download a single audio file/video or "subscribe" to get them all.