Apple's iTunes U puts school lectures and more online

Apple has expanded its iTunes U program, which allows colleges and universities to post audio and video educational content online using a content management system based on iTunes.

iTunes U is a hosted content management system that provides a way for colleges and universities to make both audio and video content from lectures, interviews, audio books and more available to students online. Students can download the content to their Macs and PCs, or take it with them using the iPod.

The system has been set up to allow instructors to post and change content themselves, so iTunes U won’t impact local IT staff. Students can also upload their own content to share with teachers and staff.

Apple’s already tested the waters for iTunes U with pilot programs at Stanford, Duke, the University of Michigan and other schools.

The technology that powers iTunes U is based on what drives the iTunes Music Store — in fact, students can also connect to the store to purchase and download music (Apple also makes available a “Volume Songs Program” for schools that ant to purchase songs at a discount on behalf of their students). In addition to their own content, schools can customize their iTunes U with school colors, logos and photography.

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