The new iTunes U app for iPad lets you subscribe to entire college courses. The courses can include video, audio, reading materials, apps, web links and other items. You can follow along with the course and take notes.
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now.
On todays episode let’s take a look at the new iTunes U App for the iPad.
So the iTunes U App has its origins in iTunes where, like you can download podcasts, you can download lectures video or audio, and basically take a course on your own online.
So using the iTunes U App you can do it a little easier and you can other course materials integrated in there and take some notes, do different things. Let’s take a look.
So one major part of the iTunes U App is of course the store, well, it’s not really a store it’s just lists of the available things you can subscribe to.
iTunes U looks kind of like iBooks, or even iTunes, for buying things, but you don’t buy anything you subscribe to them
So in that way it’s much more similar to podcasts, which is where iTunes U really came out of, you know, there’s no prices. You can just go ahead and subscribe to any course you want and here they’re all free.
So, for instance, let’s go and take a look at one, go in here and you can see that I can subscribe for free.
I can also look at reviews, list the materials in here so I can look what I’m getting into by subscribing to this actual course and you can see it lists all the different things. This one has a lot of videos.
Now we go to the library, and here I’ve downloaded two courses. Let’s go and take a look at this one.
So in this one we’ve got tabs on the right and I can look at the info tab and get and overview about the instructor, the outline.
I can look to things as posts, which is, seems to be the main view for the course and you can look at each individual thing and see what each post is, kind of, what you would do each week or during each lecture.
You can also buy materials here, and then you can see, for instance, here I’ve got a lot of videos and a lot of books, they’re text documents and this would open in iBooks.
So, for instance, if I would click on this video here, it would go and start playing the video.
If I were to click on the book, it would take my to the iBooks App, and to that document.
Then I can quickly return to view the materials again.
I can also sort through, when I only want look at the videos, or the books, or web links, you can also put web links in here, so it can link to other things. It could be other web sites, it could be books to buy or materials to buy at other places.
Now let’s take a look at this course here, and we can see under materials we’ve got video but we also have some audio here for different lectures, we have books and we also have apps, so there’s some apps that are associated with this, some of them are free but some of them are also payed, and it could be the same thing with books as well some books could actually be books that you have to buy in the iBooks store as well as things that the instructor creates.
So you can go in and you can look through the course material, you can also add your own notes and it keeps track of notes for the course as you go through it.
Here’s an actual quiz that’s included as a web link, so you can see, you can get kind of creative here, as a matter of fact I can see this going beyond universities very easily and people offering up free courses but then linking to a more detailed information or products that they could buy to go along with it so, for instance, giving a lecture on a topic but then you have a book to sell or an app to sell as well.
So this app is fantastic for people that just love to learn, it’s also got to be great for college students who can download say, another course like that Yale course and use that to learn the material before they even start the course at their college. You can get quite a head start and an advantage during the term.
So take a few minutes to browse through the courses at iTunes U and see if there’s one that interests you, download it and try it out.
‘Til next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.