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Stanford, Open University surpass 50M downloads on iTunes U

post #1 of 6
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Two content iTunes U content providers both crossed the 50 million download mark, with Stanford reaching the milestone in March followed by Europe-based Open University.

In separate press releases, Stanford and Open University announced that they passed the download milestone on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, reports The Loop.

"It shows there is a huge appetite for high-quality educational content," said Brent Izutsu, senior program manager for Stanford on iTunes U. "And that will only grow as more people look online to supplement their education."

After taking part in testing the iTunes U pilot program in 2005, Stanford became one of the first universities to offer access to course materials through the digital repository when the service was launched in 2007. At that time, content was relegated to a section in the broad iTunes music store.

Since getting its own standalone app in January, Apple's iTunes U edged closer to becoming a true learning tool and has seen increased user adoption as a growing number of colleges and universities add content. The app brought accessibility enhancements to iTunes where users can find all iTunes U content in one place and gave educators a means of managing digital classroom materials.

It was reported that over 3 million users downloaded the app in its first five days of availability and content downloads stood at over 700 million.




The U.K.-based distance learning institution Open University performed even better and was the first school in Europe to reach 1 million subscribers since the new app debuted. Content from OU is now downloaded over 40,000 times each day.

“The sheer versatility of our new iBook thinking presents a really exciting development for students, letting them jump though the page and into the rocks, to explore extra- terrestrial mineral structure," said Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University.

The learning content offered by Stanford and Open University is but a fraction of available courses distributed by Apple's iTunes U, which boasts more than 500,000 free lectures, books and videos from over 1,000 schools including prestigious institutions like Duke, MIT and Yale.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 6
Something for everybody there not just Stanford resources.
post #3 of 6
I downloaded the renewable energy course by Open University. This is a considerable amount of information consisting of videos, lesson plans, a place to take notes and highlight key information, and it is presented in an articulate manner. I am always finding new things to do on my new iPad but I never thought it would replace a college semester It is confusing, though, that the materials download into iBook instead of the iTunes U app. I hope Apple streamlines it more in the future.
post #4 of 6
This initiative of Apple could actually cement the iPad as a leader in the tablet space forever.

Once Apple builds up critical mass in this ecosystem, it becomes self sustaining. More content providers would add value to iTunes U, rather than go with a new platform.

Ecosystems like music, movies, etc are driven by commercial interests. So there is an incentive for a player like Amazon to build a competing ecosystem. But a free learning ecosystem does not make sense for Amazon for a long time. At least as long as it is still losing money.

It makes sense for Google. But the way things are going, I think Google will soon find it difficult to sustain other initiatives with its search profits. They will soon be forced to invest more in search to stay in front of the new trends in search. Actually, this should be Apple's number one goal. Remove the cushion of comfort that Google has, to invest in loss making businesses. A little bit of financial pressure will go a long way to cripple Google as a competitor.

Apple has been doing a lot of beating around the bush when it comes to search, maps, etc. High time they went for the jugular on these initiatives. Also create an iTunes based alternative to YouTube. Right now iTunes is all paid content. What if Apple allowed people to store their personal media on iCloud and share it with others with a link on iTunes. You can keep it paid or free as you wish. And because Apple already catalogs a lot of copyrighted content, they can easily come up with a signature mechanism to control piracy. So digital content owners will be happier with Apple's approach compared to YouTube.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

I downloaded the renewable energy course by Open University. This is a considerable amount of information consisting of videos, lesson plans, a place to take notes and highlight key information, and it is presented in an articulate manner. I am always finding new things to do on my new iPad but I never thought it would replace a college semester It is confusing, though, that the materials download into iBook instead of the iTunes U app. I hope Apple streamlines it more in the future.


iTunes U is just a storefront and all downloads goes to iBook since it is after all books.
BTW, not all OU materials are complete. Most is just like an introduction. A complete material for a typical course have more resources to download. They are a long distance study university and all materials available in electronic forms apart from the discs.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

iTunes U is just a storefront and all downloads goes to iBook since it is after all books.
BTW, not all OU materials are complete. Most is just like an introduction. A complete material for a typical course have more resources to download. They are a long distance study university and all materials available in electronic forms apart from the discs.

Yes I understand they are introductions, which is why I said it replaces a semester only, not a whole course.
Also, some iTunes u catalogs are downloaded right into the app and not into iBooks, adding to the confusion.
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