Harvard Starts Page on iTunes U

New page will include free podcasts, lecture videos

Harvard continued its dedication to dispersing knowledge online Tuesday with the launch of a Harvard page on iTunes U.

The new page, which had been discussed for several years before the University began working to make it a reality about two months ago, allows Harvard to post free podcasts and videos for download on iTunes. Harvard’s first set of content ranges from a series of lecture videos from government professor Michael J. Sandel’s popular course “Justice” to tracks performed by the Harvard Kuumba Singers.

Harvard is the most recent of many prominent institutions to begin this program. Yale, Stanford, Brown, MIT, and Oxford are some of the more than six hundred universities worldwide that post educational materials on iTunes.

The Harvard Extension School launched its own iTunes content page in Feb. 2007 and currently publishes lecture videos of full courses as well as short previews of other classes.

“Harvard has so many amazing stories to tell,” said Perry S. Hewitt ’87, Harvard’s director of digital communications and communications services. “This seemed like a great way for us to connect with many of our target audiences and encourage Harvard’s core focus of teaching, learning, and research.”

Esten Perez, director of communications for the Institute of Politics, said that this new medium would also help the IOP achieve its goal of providing information to as many people as possible.

“If we can grow more of an audience, that can only help contribute to the wide range of issues that we discuss,” Perez said.

The launch of Harvard on iTunes U is aimed at reaching out to an audience that spans far beyond the Harvard student body.

“The impetus for doing this now is the prevalence of mobile devices and the heavy in interest in downloading materials to mobile devices. We wanted to make sure to provide content that is available not only on phones, but also on tablets for the future,” Hewitt said.

Sarah Wang ’10 said that she looked forward to taking advantage of this new resource.

“I think that the coolest thing would be that I could watch not only for classes that I’m in, but for classes I’m not in,” Wang said. “Everyone could tune in and explore topics that they are interested in.”

Maryum J. Jordan ’10 echoed Wang’s sentiments.

“I could definitely see someone like people from my family using this,” she said. “It’s something a parent could use if they want to see what their child is doing at Harvard.”

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