Student Lounge

iTunes U

Written by: Michelle Powers (first year law student)

The world of the Internet often seems too complex, an interconnected web of pages and pages of information that appear as confusing as the codes first transcribed onto the original computers of its origin. Too often, parents automatically cast aside the computer as a distraction to the younger generation – writing it off as a waste of time and a barrier to face-to-face interactions. And the fact that it often makes adults feel less technologically savvy than a ten-year-old doesn’t help either. But I am here to tell you that technology, and more specifically the Internet, can easily become your friend, especially when it comes to helping your child excel in school.

Using Technology To Your Advantage:
I begin with one of the best, yet too often over-looked study tools. How many of you have children who use the iTunes program? I bet a lot. In fact, according to Billboard, about half of all young people in the United States use iTunes. But music is not the only choice this simple, yet sophisticated, program has to offer. If you open up the iTunes program, which can be downloaded onto your Mac or PC for free, you’ll note a tab in the music store called “iTunes U.” Once discovered, this section of iTunes can open up a cornucopia of hundreds of free (yes, free) educational lectures and tools, from the halls of Harvard to the world’s leading museums.

Does your child have a test on Charles Darwin? Well if so, you could type ‘Darwin’ into the iTunes U search box and discover dozens of free audio and video lectures available on the subject to download and listen to at any time. Your child can listen to a lecture while brushing his teeth or walking to school. I am not saying these lectures, classes, and speeches should be used as a substitute or a replacement for their classroom textbooks, but more as an aid to supplement their learning; these additional realms of information may help them understand the information more thoroughly by offering another perspective. Students need not study just through the lines of a textbook that too often act as a sleep tool. It is similar to Trident gum – not meant to replace brushing your teeth, but when used in addition to brushing your teeth, it can help keep your teeth and gums in better shape. Similarly, these lectures provide more material to add to the information presented in the classrooms and textbooks.

In other words, more is better, and may just give your student that upper edge that allows him to reach the next level of understanding and mastery of a particular topic. I listen to lectures on astronomy, science, and health for fun, and they can be particularly good to have for long car rides and road trips. All and all, iTunes U is an exceptional educational tool for students of all ages that may prove to be a great, newly discovered tool for you as well.

For more information, you can read this article from School Tools.