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Harvard University Launches iTunes U Content


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Harvard University today announced (via The Loop) that it has joined Apple's iTunes U program, offering educational content via the iTunes Store. The university has established a launch page at that offers users access to Harvard's iTunes U content via iTunes 9.
The University's content features the sights and sounds of Harvard, including educational material such as Professor Michael Sandel's renowned "Justice" course, which is an introduction to moral and political philosophy, and is one of the most popular courses at Harvard. Visitors also will be able to learn about the science of the brain's "black box," the secrets of aging, and other health-related topics from Harvard Medical School's "labcasts," and will have the opportunity to view public lectures by many of the University's distinguished professors and guests.
A number of colleges and universities currently offer content via iTunes U, with Stanford having served as the inaugural institution for the service in 2005. Last December, it was noted that iTunes U had surpassed 100 million downloads.

Article Link: Harvard University Launches iTunes U Content


macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
why is this even page 2 news? there are tons of elite schools that already have pages (some with lots of content), like Bowdoin, Columbia, MIT, Oxford, Princeton, and Wesleyan...


macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2008
East Coast, USA
I can't believe there are only two comments and the same number of pos and negs, how are people not more excited about this? Free direct feeds from classes and labs that people spend countless years and dollars working towards just exposure to alone ...


macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
iTunes U has such huge potential, I just wish Universities would add more high quality content.

I agree.

Something I find exciting about Apple is the way it sells its products. I've been reading the iTunes U pages on the Apple site and they make education, learning and the university experience as a whole incredibly inspiring, yet there seem to be few universities who reflect this in their iTunes U pages.

My own university doesn't have an iTunes U page at all. My lecture notes are uploaded to an ugly and busy site with link-after-link to get to where you want to be (Moodle). To have PDFs of my lectures on iTunes would, for me at least, inspire learning due to its ease and prominence in my everyday life.

If I knew how to do everything I'd get set on making the iTunes U page myself.


macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2009
Denver, CO
I can't believe there are only two comments and the same number of pos and negs, how are people not more excited about this? Free direct feeds from classes and labs that people spend countless years and dollars working towards just exposure to alone ...

Well, it's great to have access to the classes, but it takes a dedicated person to take a class in addition to his/her regular schedule. I think a 3 credit hour class in the semester system will require at least 10 hours/week. As I understand iTunes U, you don't have to follow at the same pace so the time commitment can be less. The other downside is that one needs the textual content for a class and those textbooks are generally quite expensive. Lecture notes are great, but sometimes one wants the details in a textbook.


macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
Isla Nublar
Harvard has already been on iTunes U for awhile. I downloaded the Harvard Computer Science classes last October. Other then that I LOVE iTunes U and have so much great stuff downloaded from them. If I was a college professor I would push for this kind of thing. Its great to give people the opportunity to learn even if they can't afford college.

(I know some people think such people are free loaders but they don't have the piece of paper in the end that matters, so I see nothing wrong with it).

I wish my college would get on iTunes U.


macrumors regular
Apr 16, 2008
Houston TX
Maybe the issue is that the Universities don't make any money off these. If they allowed me to view all the videos for free but pay $ 0.99 for each lectures reading materials I'd be very interested.


macrumors member
Jan 31, 2006
Most universities just add dumb speeches and non-relevant info. Harvard did not post any lectures, so a pretty boring announcement.

Ðe university might not earn any money, but I did follow a lecturer, whose book I shall buy when it comes out because I liked ðe class.

Quality varies a lot. Yale's lectures seem to be ðe best average quality, but I also would note ðat lots of oðer universities have good lecturers, and "name-brand" isn't everyþing.


macrumors 6502
May 5, 2008
One of the major things holding this back is there is no solution to the question of intellectual property. It's the professor's research, lectures, etc., but it's the University's hardware and production. So who owns the product? Also, if the professor moves on, does he take his intellectual products with him, even if the university paid to have them produced?

These issues are resolvable, but they're quite difficult.
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