I have been looking to broaden my learning whilst studying with the OU without having to worry about assignments and deadlines and over the past week I have come across iTunes U.
To put it simply, this is a place in the iTunes store where Universities can place video and audio from recorded lectures online and allow their students to download them on their PC or Mac. From here the audio can be listened to or alternatively moved direct to an iPod or CD for listening (whilst driving to and from work in my case).
Although this is intended for students of the Universities the materials and lectures are available freely to anyone in the world.
The range of subjects is incredible and best of all it is free of charge! Two particularly interesting courses I have been watching/listening to are computer science based from Stanford University and Berkeley University, which are two of the most prestigious establishments in the field of Computing. The topics are interesting and discussed from many angles with some of the best lecturers in their respective fields explaining ideas from the basics through to advanced levels. Many of the courses have video or slides which can also be downloaded which liven up the topics even more.
Many lectures can be subscribed to as Podcasts which download each week as the lectures become available online allowing you to follow the course, or alternatively you may only download lectures of specific interest to you. With each lecture lasting approximately 80 minutes they can hopefully improve the time spent in traffic on a day to day basis.
I would recommend this service to anyone as it doesn't cost a thing, requires no real commitment and will definitely engage your brain and provide a good background to topics that you may come across in more detail with your OU Studies.
Take a look, there are plenty of topics from all the different faculties at these prestigious Universities (I haven't had a chance to check if any British Universities have adopted the service yet but if not I'm sure it won't be long).
All the best and a Happy New Year