Apple's iTunes U : Michigan Tech's "Astronomy" 2nd Most Downloaded Ahead of Steve Jobs Stanford Speech
Apple's iTunes U is creating learning spaces -"what we used to call the classroom,” says Patty Lins, director of educational technology and online learning. “You can listen to a lecture on a treadmill, in your car, on the bus to an away hockey game . . .and Michigan Technological University is part of it in a big way. Students—and anyone else, for that matter—can download Robert Nemiroff’s introductory astronomy course along with the latest Smashing Pumpkins album. The difference is, you don’t have to pay a dime to learn the basics of cosmology, whereas “Zeitgeist” will cost you $11.99."
Physics professor Nemiroff’s astronomy lectures have been on
iTunes U since last year and are the second-most-downloaded, just after
MIT’s intro to psychology and ahead of Steve Jobs’ commencement address
It’s pretty stellar company, and Nemiroff thinks his popularity may be due to the title of his first lecture, “A Grand Tour of the Universe,” or perhaps some level of name recognition associated with his books and his popular website, “Astronomy Picture of the Day.”
With its images of spiraling galaxies and other cosmic phenomena, the course lends itself to online viewing.
Michigan Tech is one of 16 universities nationwide that have posted
courses on iTunes U. Educational Technology Services records the
lectures in a special classroom that features an overhead camera and
jazzed-up computer connections. The lectures can also be dressed up
with graphics and music.
“Students from the Net generation get music and videos from iTunes,” says Patty Lins, director of educational technology and online learning. “Now they can get their courses at the iTunes store.”
Posted by Casey Kazan.
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