Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creating your Academic Playlist with iTunes University

Right now I'm listening to a series of lectures on Shakespeare's plays, called "Approaching Shakespeare," delivered at Oxford University and uploaded as mp3 files to iTunes University. You can find a preview page here.

iTunes University currently houses over 350,000 lectures, videos, and other educational material. Most of the content is free and available to the public. More than 800 colleges and universities participate, including Oxford, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and Harvard, but also a few institutions closer to home, such as the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Luther College.

Ever since MIT began making their course material available to the public (the so-called Open Content movement), access to free, high-quality lectures has undergone exponential growth. However, this is just the first stage in what could be a major transformation in how institutions deliver lectures and structure their courses.

With a massive library of course material to choose from, there are more options for guest lecturers, collaboration between instructors, and free supplemental content. While an audio or video file can't replace a live person, resources like iTunes University should allow for more dynamic online courses, or for lecture-based "homework" following the "flipped" model advocated by Khan Academy.

Stage 1: Create a comprehensive library of open content from around the world.
Stage 2: Now what do we do with it?


  1. I just took a great training through DMACC and was exposed to all kinds of online materials, such as Khan Academy and iTunes University. I was shocked by all the things out there. Yes, and now what do we do with it? I'm excited to start experimenting.

  2. What training was that? Sounds great.

    We should get enough people willing to create and record lectures and then see if we can start a DMACC account to iTunes U. It's free, as far as I can tell.