In another effort to adapt to the rapidly advancing technological age, Georgetown University has joined the ranks of a number of schools by launching its own page on the iTunes U Web site at the beginning of March.

This new media option makes certain lectures and speeches given on campus available to a global audience.

“Georgetown’s vibrant community and engaging guest speakers spark the interest of people off campus who want to share the experience,” university spokesperson Julie Bataille said.

iTunes U provides access to more than 100 video and audio podcasts that feature prominent Georgetown events from the past year, according to a university press release. The channel is updated regularly, and is an addition to the university’s steadily growing online presence. iTunes U joins FORA.tv, which is a similar site that broadcasts lectures, discussions and debates from around the world – including some on the Hilltop.

“This is an opportunity to expand Georgetown University’s mission,” Bataille said. “For example, when a high-level official is speaking, this is interesting and important for the campus.”

According to the Apple Web site, the iTunes U service is available to many colleges and universities around the world for the purpose of widespread distribution of educational materials and encouragement of mobile learning. While the service is free of charge for those who qualify, all institutions enter into a legal service agreement with iTunes U that governs appropriate use. Currently participating institutions include Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Yale University.

Prospective students, alumni, parents or anyone who is simply interested in events at Georgetown may go online and download free educational video and audio. Institutions also have the option of restricting access to only those on campus by enabling password protection, according to the Apple Web site. Accessible 24 hours a day, iTunes U is available on any Mac or PC that has the most recent iTunes software.

Since its launch, Georgetown’s channel on iTunes U has already had several thousand visitors, according to Bataille. The most popular download is Madeleine Albright’s recent speech regarding her book “Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership.”

Links to the university homepage and other more specific pages from the Georgetown Web site are located under the “Top Downloads” link on the Georgetown iTunes page. The layout makes it easy for a prospective student to access university resources and media clips – all in the same location. Students can download a panel discussion, check out the university mission statement and browse through events on campus.

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