A number of universities have made lectures, and sometimes even full courses, available freely to the public through the internet in the form of podcasts. This is a valuable resource. I discovered it through Apple’s iTunes, they have a new section of their iTunes store called iTunes U.
Podcasts are available from Stanford, Berkeley, Duke, MIT and many more institutions. I don’t know if it’s because the podcasts are offered through Apple, but currently the most popular download is Steve Jobs’s 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.
It’s wonderful that iTunes is offering this resource, but I’d love to see some other directory of University podcasts. It almost seems like something our public libraries should do. There’s something wonderfully democratic about this. Of course, access to free education is only important if people take advantage of it. Somehow I can imagine a new immigrant to the United States thinking this is the equivalent of streets paved with gold.