I am currently taking a course at Stanford. For free. You read right. It’s awesome. With iTunes U, you can choose from thousands of free courses in any subject you can imagine. FREE. The link we gave you is for the app to create a course, but all you need is iTunes to be able to search through and participate in the thousands of courses.
You can learn pretty much anything you’d want to learn: foreign languages, current events, literature, math, food and nutrition, drawing, science, business, culture, ecology, and on and on and on! Courses are at all different levels, too: some are high school level, some are introductory college courses, and some are much more advanced. I’m confident that ALL of you can find something that you’d want to learn that is appropriate for your level.
The course I’m currently taking, Coding Together, is an iOS Development course (coding for iPhone and iPad using Objective-C and xCode). This is going to help me accomplish my goal of creating an iPhone app. I’m practicing with a Clue app now. This course is REALLY just like an online university course: there are video lectures, class handouts, homework assignments, online discussions, and class materials. ALL FOR FREE.
Last Summer, I took a philosophy and ethics course. I took tons of ethics courses in college and think it’s one of the most interesting areas of study. Megan and I had a lot of interesting
arguments discussions as a result of this class, and I appreciated being able to pick something back up that I enjoy, but don’t get to learn much about in my day-to-day life.
I’ve been trying to explain the awesomeness of ITunes U to Megan, who really wants to keep learning but doesn’t want the price tag that comes with a Masters and Doctorate when she won’t use the degrees. It’s finally clicked for her, and she’s getting started on a few courses too. One of them is Sexuality, which is a course she wanted to take in college but could never quite fit in to her schedule.
She’s starting a Shakespeare course this month after she’s finished reading the The Complete Works of Shakespeare so that she can have a platform to analyze what she’s read.
Megan’s thing is sociology, so she’s started an Oxford course in that.
We’re also both trying to narrow down the French courses to decide which ones will work for us.
Obviously I love this website for selfish reasons: I can learn about pretty much anything without having to pay for it. And, because I already have degrees and I’m not out for college credits, this format is perfect for me. But I love iTunes U for reasons beyond myself, too. I love that anyone with access to a computer (or a public place with computers such as a library or Internet cafe) can have access to education from resectable educators. I love that a person in community college who is struggling with College Algebra can take courses online for free to prepare them for the real thing instead of paying for Pre-College Alegra, for which they will get no real credit. I love that kids in rural high schools with limited course options can take AP Chemistry. I love that graduates who want to keep up with their degrees can continue their education to stay fresh (which is what Megan and I are doing). I love that a person planning a trip to a foreign country can learn the conversational language before the trip. I love that those who cannot afford a college education can learn real things that will help them in the workplace such as a second language or business know-how. I love that high school teachers can use the material to prepare for their own classes. I love that young adults trying to narrow down a major can try lots of courses for free to see what they love instead of paying to test the waters before they find their passion. I love that the platform is worldwide. I love that it has the power to equalize education; which is an important key to upward social mobility and all to often is only accessible to those with privilege. iTunes U just reached one billion downloads. I love that the knowledge is spreading. I love that all of these amazing professors from around the world are sharing their knowledge, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.