Mobile learning might just be the newest wave in educational opportunities available to college students and avid learners, taking over where distance learning has leveled off. While technology has made it possible to use mobile learning for a while now, it is finally cramping up and catching on in popularity.
The world is a busy place and people have to juggle all kinds of activities including school, sports, extracurricular activities, work, family, friends, and more. For those who like learning on the go or who simply have busy lives and need a bit of extra help finding the time to coordinate studying with everything else going on in their lives, iTunes U is the perfect place to visit. Access to iTunes U is gained in the iTunes Store.
What is iTunes U?
A varied collection of audio and video files that are available for free downloading are held at iTunes U. In fact, the current listings include more than 200,000 pieces. That's a lot of options for picking up some new knowledge. The files held at iTunes U are educational in nature, so they aren't in demand by those individuals who are looking for the simple pleasures of life such as music and games
Universities across the globe are distributing their educational information via iTunes U in greater numbers as they discover the ease of mobile learning. Some of this knowledge is available for public consumption, while the rest of it is held behind closed doors, so to speak, and made available only to the selected few.
In fact, college professors are discovering that students will readily download and read interesting lessons and materials when accessible via iPods and iPhones, two of a student's most prized possessions. These handy devices are familiar and therefore, easy to use. Plus, students almost always have their iPod or iPhone with them, offering up no excuses for an inability to read up on the latest lesson. Along with the accessibility of these mobile lesson students can learn at their own pace, adding flexibility into the scenario.
Internal Versus External
Technically, iTunes U and the treasures it holds are available to anyone with iTunes capability. However, this site is actually divided into two halves- an internal iTunes U area and an external iTunes U area.
The internal site at iTunes U is reserved for a selected group of individuals, typically registered students at a specific college campus. The internal site is password protected. The individuals with administrative access to the specific site determine who will have access to it.
The external site is available to anyone who wants to check it out. Quite a few reputable universities currently have informational audio and video podcasts that are available to the public. These universities include Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, and Stanford. PBS stations also participate in the external iTunes U site.
Apple offers informational tutorials about setting up an internal or external iTunes U site for administrators. An Apple ID is required. A tutorial is also available for students wishing to learn how to access the wealth of knowledge found at iTunes U.