UK universities offer lectures via iTunes

An academic service offering downloadable lectures via iTunes is to be made available to students at University College London, the Open University and Trinity College Dublin.

The move follows similar initiatives in the US where Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley and MIT are already making educational content available via 'iTunes U', a free section of the online music store.

European universities are joining their US counterparts in offering video and audio recordings of lectures from leading academics to students for use on iPods or computers.

'Our students will be able to revisit material presented to them in lectures, so they can learn anywhere and anytime,' said Professor Peter Mobbs, of UCL.

UCL is promising downloads about neuroscience, the university's 'lunch time lectures' and a round-up of the latest news.

The Open University, meanwhile, will offer content relating to current courses through 300 audio and video files.

'Our aim is to partner our distance learning expertise with the power of the internet to provide mobile, flexible and personalised learning whatever your educational level, personal circumstances or technological abilities,' said Open University vice-chancellor Brenda Gourley.

Lectures from scientist Robert Winston, author Anita Desai, politician Alex Salmond and journalist Seymour Hersh are also in the iTunes pipeline from Trinity College Dublin.

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