Royce Hall, main building of University of Cal...

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If you are a student and has a 8:30 am class, I know that “10 more minutes” feeling. However, since you need those credits to graduate, you better haul your behind and get ready!

But for us, “the new 40’s” guys and gals, who still love to learn, we have the luxury to stay in bed, in the couch, in the kitchen,… to attend lectures, and why not, when Apple’s new improved iTunesU delivers seminars to us for free! (We know how expensive these seminars could be! especially, your city is not the hosting city, eh!)

So iTunesU is not a new thing, it used to hide behind Podcasts, and you can access full audio or video lectures by first selecting the course you want to listen or watch. These are not some obscure University’s lectures we talk about, they are from Oxford, Havard, Princeton, UCLA, the Ivy Leagues. Beside from saving a lot of money to attend one of these lectures, some of the professors are well known. When in the old format tugged under iTunes Podcasts, I even indulged watching a few video lectures in French from HEC-Paris! Now, for me it is better than watching a free full-length pop-star world-tour.

[If you don’t have an iPad, iPhone or iTouch, iTunes U materials are still available to iPod, best with classic or video iPod, in that case, donwloads are from iTunes on your computer]

iTunesU is an independent iPad app now, very much like News-stand,which was part of iBooks before. Here are the improvements:

РEach course you subscribe to or download will have its own binder cover sitting on the bookshelf (consistent theme with iBooks, Newsstand). In comparison, in the past it was just an icon with list of clips available to download like iTunes music or podcasts.

– Each binder when open will have four folios: Info,Posts, Notes, Materials. Before, you might have some pdfs, or ppts that needed to be downloaded separately.

– With Notes, you can take notes, of course, but now they are all in the same binder. I used to do it either with OneNote or just a txt document and as such all over the place in my laptop, iPad, etc.

If you are into Psychology, I just watched Martin Seligman talks about positive psychology and Helen Fisher about Why we love+ cheat, and these are under TED Conferences. If I were to pay to attend, we are talking about at least $2,000 US…

Once again, this will appeal more to “the new 40’s, 50’s, 60’s” people in the crowd, who love to learn, but cannot afford physically(time), psychologically (sitting with 20’s something in a classroom), nor financially to go back to University. The best part, there is no limit of what we can learn: Quantum psychics to developing iPhone apps.

See, Bill Gates may donate millions to promote education; Apple, and the late Mr. Steve Jobs, gives people the tools to access free education, and that’s the difference!! Learning, after-all, is from within, and iPad is the right tool!


P.S. I teach accounting, and I just carry my iPad for my lecture notes, instead of stack of  loose papers in a folder that I used to.