Wednesday, December 19, 2007

iTunes U

On-line educational resources continue to evolve and expand. I've written before about MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) program, and it warms my heart as a former physics major to see a NY Times article today describing MIT physics professor Walter Lewin as a "web star" based on the world-wide popularity of his Physics I lecture videos. He certainly is an attention grabbing lecturer! With physics professors becoming web stars, maybe studying physics will become wildly popular and irrationality will plummet. But probably not.

I also just noticed that Apple now has something called iTunes U which expands upon the wide range of free audio and video podcasts already available through the iTunes Store. Universities can build their own iTunes U pages for iTunes, providing students or others with a convenient way to download audio or video lectures. Surprisingly, I didn't see Prof. Lewin's MIT classical mechanics class there, though his E&M (electricity and magnetism) class is available along with a number of other MIT OCW classes. I now have his first E&M lecture video on my iPod - how cool is that?

Note: The lecture videos at the OCW site itself are streaming RealMedia files with no option (that I can see) to download the videos for off-line viewing.

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