Apple touts iTunes U as content tops one billion downloads

Posted by Thomas Anderson

Apple has confirmed that its iTunes U content downloads have reached an impressive one billion.

As Apple VP Eddy Cue notes, iTunes U features the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent libraries, museums and organizations. The content is used to help educators formulate a wide variety of courses, including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for iOS users.

"With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before―there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn," said Cue.

Indeed, more than 1,200 universities and colleges, and 1,200 K-12 schools and districts host over 2,500 public and thousands of private courses encompassing the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more.

A number of prominent universities including Duke, Yale, Cambridge, MIT and Oxford continue to extend their reach by enrolling more than 100,000 students in single iTunes U courses, with Stanford University and The Open University each surpassing 60 million content downloads. In addition, the Ohio State University’s Matthew “Dr. Fus” Stoltzfus’ General Chemistry course enrolled over 100,000 iTunes U students in the first year it was offered.

Over 60 percent of iTunes U app downloads originate from outside the US, giving schools of any size the ability to share their content with a worldwide audience. The unmatched global reach of iTunes U gives educators, like University of California, Irvine Professor Dan Stokols, international recognition and acclaim in their fields.

“Because of iTunes U, I have been able to introduce students and colleagues in China to research on the links between chronic multi-tasking, information overload and stress; discuss research publications and degree programs with students in Europe; and exchange information about the influence of neighborhood design on community levels of physical activity and obesity with students in Australia,” said Professor Stokols, whose Environmental Psychology course enrolls over 170,000 students on iTunes U.

“The opportunity to impact so many students who are gaining interest in environmental psychology by taking my free course on iTunes U has been highly rewarding and gratifying for me as an educator and learner.”

Educators can create iTunes U courses in 30 countries including recent additions: Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. These courses, and other education content, can be accessed via the iTunes U app in 155 countries.

In addition to thousands of individual iTunes U learning materials, over 75,000 educational apps are now available for iOS devices on the App Store. Additionally, with the free iBooks Author app on the Mac App Store, writers and publishers continue to bring ideas and stories to life - sharing more than 10,000 original Multi-Touch books with the world.