If you own an iOS 5 device or have access to a computer with iTunes on it, you now have a portal to more than a half-million lectures, videos, books, and other resources from the world’s leading universities and cultural institutions, for free.
You can get smarter on thousands of subjects, from Algebra to Zoology. And you can do it on the go if you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. A free iTunes U app gives you these educational materials no matter where you are. Listen to an anthropology lecture from Oxford University during your lunch hour, or watch a lecture about autism from Yale while waiting in line at the bank.
The iTunes U app gathers material from university and cultural institutions in 26 countries including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, UC Berkeley, MoMA, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress. iTunes helps you navigate the many streams of content by searching; you can sort by topic or institution or grade level.
If you own multiple iOS devices, say, an iPhone and an iPad, the iTunes U content will synchronize between them.
Early reviews are quite favorable, running about 10 to 1 positive to negative. Some users report that the applications on the handheld iOS devices crash. I’ve had downloads stall. Expect Apple to work out such bugs. Apple is encouraging more institutions to develop and offer more courses through iTunes U. So the number of available lectures and courses likely will grow.