The Smithsonian Libraries today launched three courses of selected content on iTunes U that focus on topics in early aviation and space history. This release increases exposure of Libraries material and is an innovative way to reach new audiences.
iTunes U is a dedicated area within iTunes that gives users public access to hundreds of thousands of free lectures, videos books, podcasts and courses from learning institutions all over the world. With the iTunes U app, users can download content directly onto their iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Three of the Libraries’ courses are available now: The Great Moon Hoax, Early Aviation and the Media and How Things Fly: Parts of an Aircraft in the World War I Period. More courses will be rolled out during the first half of 2014 with additional topics related to transportation: Women in Aviation, Worldwide Aircraft Design and Experimentation in Pre-World War I, Ballooning and Airship Dirigibles: Lighter-than-air Aircraft History, Military Aviation in World War I, Early Rocketry Development, The Development of the Automobile in the 19th and 20th Centuries and Railroad Development in the 19th and 20th Centuries.
For students, the courses include vocabulary and guided questions to help process more difficult materials. For teachers, the courses include learning goals, common core standards for grades 6–12, national history standards and a guided-inquiry section that suggests how the courses and materials can be effectively used in the classroom or school library. They are designed to be self-paced experiences, and it is up to the teacher or student to decide which parts of the course they use.
The courses are built around materials from the Libraries’ Galaxy of Images and the Smithsonian Digital Library, supplemented with additional resources from the Smithsonian Channel, Smithsonian magazine, Air and Space magazine and NASA materials.
To access the courses, click here.