Intellectual Stimulation? There’s an App for That!

I’ve sung the “A,B,C’s.”  I have a playlist with more than a hundred nursery rhymes and Disney songs.  I have tickled Elmo, hammered square pegs into round holes and decided that I, too, do not like green eggs and ham.  I have realized that I need more intellectual stimulation or my brain will soon atrophy to the point that I’ll be taking commands from my dog.

So when I heard Bill Gates describe in an interview on National Public Radio in the United States how he enjoys downloading free university lectures and is a proponent of open source education, I thought it was time to investigate.

Courtesy of Apple

I’d noticed something called iTunes University on my iPhone (obviously, not what Mr. Gates was specifically referring to), but hadn’t gotten around to exploring it until two weeks ago.  Now, a whole new world has opened up for me.

Instead of bopping to music as I walk the baby and the dog mid-afternoon, I discover the meaning of metaphysics as explained by an Oxford philosopher.  Or I learn the political theories of Thomas Hobbes, as discussed by a Cambridge historian.  All for free and all easily downloaded from the iTunes Store.

According to Apple’s website, more than 300 institutions, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and UC Berkeley, distribute their content publicly on the iTunes Store.  The opportunities are endless.  Want to learn French?  There’s a download for that.  Interested in Marketing Management?  There’s a download for that too.  From Engineering to Education, Fine Arts to Business, Science to Literature, there’s something to interest any mom.

So whether you’d like to understand consciousness or the new world order; want to learn healthy eating habits or how to write a book, I recommend giving Raffi a rest and listening instead to professors from some of the world’s best universities teach you all those things you’ve been meaning to learn.

More Lectures & Mind Stimulation:

Lecture Fox

Open Culture


Video Lectures

World Lecture Project


Big Think

Meghan & Conall

Meghan Thompson: After exploring five careers in five cities in just over five years, she has built up a wealth of knowledge about what she does not want to do with her life (including teaching, politics, banking, communications and PR). Meghan is finally doing what she does want to do (writing) where she wants to do it (in England) with the support of her husband, the amazing “rugby bloke” and their incredible son, “Sir Grinsalot,” who joined them in October 2009.

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7 Responses to Intellectual Stimulation? There’s an App for That!

  1. Barry Thompson says:

    Speaking as one who spends 4 hours a day commuting, I am always seeking pastimes that don’t involve hours of radio drivial, meaningless prattle and endless irritating commercials. I be sure to include some on line learning between my books-on-tape!

  2. Wow – great advice, and I’m not even a mom (yet?), unless you count my stuffed animals (I do). But seriously, if I’d known I don’t have to pay for the Mandarin classes I’m enrolled in, and could have taken them with a side of philosophy on iTunes, I could have done a lot more with my time & money, truly. Witty and clever piece. Excellent!

  3. Lisa says:

    “giving Raffi a rest” I love it! well written and well said, Meghan!

  4. Rob Brooks says:

    Wow, what a great concept! I may have to explore this myself come the fall. :-) Thanks for making us aware of it, I had no idea such a thing was available on my phone.

  5. Sam says:

    I need an iPhone! Maybe i could just pinch my lovely husbands now and again to better myself…… I’ll give it a go – thanks Meghan!

  6. Pingback: Make the most of yourself « Temple of Inspiration

  7. indira pillai says:

    Super Idea .Thank you for giving me this wonderful information

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