In a world based on the Internet, online learning has become a great challenge to traditional models of education. In fact, the Internet has made access to free education easy, as long as a potential student has access to iTunes U. The production of information across the Internet is open to contribution and modification from people all over the world. Thus, iTunes U is an excellent example of a shift towards a new online education system produced from professors and educators all around the world.
Today anyone can create an iTunes U course manager account. iTunes U allows for “on-the-go” learning from renowned educators. This new approach includes a decentralized action-specific, cooperative and coordinated action.
By engaging with educational courses in online technology, schools around the world are able to access customized online courses with the best teaching staff available. iTunes U offers online courses for grades K-12, as well as university and college level courses in a multitude of areas. It includes courses on the ecosystems, history and modern economy as well as finance and much more. The notion of sharing expertise via the network allows for global access to information from highly appraised teachers and professors.
Many schools and world-renowned universities such as Stanford and Harvard participate in iTunes U and because of this, everyday people can now have access to lectures, music, performances, and more. Traditional models of education are being challenged now, because people can get access for some lectures for free through iTunes that affiliated students would have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to listen to.
Since it is a free source of knowledge, students do not receive credit for courses that they listen to on iTunes U, however. Apple does not pay for the content of these courses, and professors do not get paid for podcasting their lectures through iTunes U. They are simply there for people who want to learn some interesting, new information and have some time to listen during their day.
The first online educational courses began in 1981, with courses that were offered for no credit. It is amazing to see how much has changed since then with the invention of iTunes U. We are excited to see in what other ways online education will change again over the next few years.