iTunes U, available via the iTunes store, offers many podcasts and lectures on aspects of China. It’s well worth checking out. Recently Apple launched a new app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to subscribe to courses offered via the service. One of the first to be launched is an introduction to China from the Open University.
The iTunes U interface (shown here on the iPhone) looks like a dark bookshelf and you can add courses from the “Catalog” button (yes, they spelt it wrong…)
The “Introduction to China” course consists of snippets from other courses such as the OU’s “Beginner’s Mandarin” module. The whole thing covers topics such as doing business in China, the Chinese economy and a basic introduction to the language and culture.
The interface is easy to use. The “Materials” button lists all the different components: PDFs, videos, audio, even apps. You can download the different materials when you need them and they’ll be stored on your phone or iPad, or in your computer’s iTunes library.
The “Posts” button is the one you’ll use the most. It lists everything in order and tells you what to do, the questions to bear in mind as you watch or listen to the materials.
At the end of the course (which is quite short, being just a taster) there’s a quiz book with questions that test your understanding of the topic.
This isn’t the only course that’s available on iTunes U – there’s stuff on programming, history, design, textiles in Africa and more so it’s well worth checking out. If you have an iPhone or iPad, I recommend getting the free iTunes U app, and downloading the Introduction to China course – it fits in really well with this module so give it a go.