iTunesU Goes Beyond The Campus: Spotlight on the ResearchChannel

In case you haven't been watching ... Apple's iTunesU has started striking out in new directions. When it launched a little more than a year ago, iTunesU served up free educational content exclusively from universities. Now, it has gone "beyond the campus."

With this move, Apple is now featuring edifying material from such institutions as The New York Public Library (see our related piece), the 92nd Street Y (nice looking collection here), the National Science Digital Library, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Also in the mix, you'll find podcasts from the ResearchChannel. Based out of the University of Washington, the ResearchChannel brings together content from leading research and academic institutions (see member list here), and then distributes it to consumers mostly through satellite and cable, but also via the web. iTunesU is a fairly new distribution channel. And even newer is YouTube. (See their channel here.)

What kind of content does the ResearchChannel serve up? Here's a sampling of the programs you'll find: Dark Energy, or Worse: Was Einstein Wrong?; Bioenergy and Biofuels: An Overview; The Psychology of Blink: Understanding How the Mind Works Unconsciously; The Teen Brain; and Mesopotamia to Iraq: Perspectives on the Middle East.

The ResearchChannel, I should mention, is not the only venture in this line of business. The UChannel (formerly the University Channel), coming out of Princeton University, offers a rather similar product: Web site - iTunes - Rss feed - YouTube . Likewise, FORA.TV does a good job of aggregating smart video: Web site - iTunes - Rss feeds - YouTube.

For more smart audio content, check our Ideas & Culture Podcast Collection.

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