updated 2/28/2013 4:20:11 PM ET 2013-02-28T21:20:11

You've been meaning to take Appreciating Architecture or some other course from your local college extension program, but you don't; you're too busy or the class is offered at an inconvenient time or you just don't want to spend the money.

With iTunes U on your iPhone, you've got years' worth of courses to choose from; you can watch a lecture while you're waiting in line, and it won't cost you a dime.

Apple today (Feb. 28) announced that iTunes U content downloads have topped one billion with more than 250,000 students enrolled. Learners can choose from more than 1,200 universities and colleges, and 1,200 K-12 schools and districts that host thousands of courses encompassing the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more.

Along with  lifetime learners , iTunes U also appeals to students also needing extra help.  For instance, Ohio State University’s Matthew “Dr. Fus” Stoltzfus’ General Chemistry course reached over 100,000 students in the first year it was offered, and many of the participants were in  high school . Further, it's been used by high school teachers to prepare their own chemistry classes, and as a tutoring aid.

Ready to learn something new? Download the free app from the App Store. Apple has conveniently organized material by genres, but you can jump right to introductory courses, where you'll find most general education classes that you'd take in the first two years of college, such as Statistics 110 from Harvard. You'll also find novel approaches to traditional subjects, like  Skatepark  Geometry from the University of Arkansas.

You can also browse by school, and in the case of primary and secondary schools, you can browse by school district, which can be helpful if you're looking for tutoring help for your kids.

Follow TechNewsDaily on Twitter  @TechNewsDaily, or on  Facebook. Follow Leslie Meredith  @lesliemeredith.

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