iTunes U program: over one billion digital education resources have been downloaded through it.Today, Apple hit a major milestone with its
For many who are out of the school system or who aren’t attending one of the 1,200 universities and colleges or 1,200 K-12 schools that currently participate in iTunes U, the program and its possibilities remain kind of a mystery.
iTunes U has grown rapidly over the last nine months. TechCrunch reports that in its first five years, iTunes U managed to deliver 700 million downloads to students. From June 2012 to now, it managed to serve another 300 million, indicating the concept is finally catching on with schools in a big way.
If you aren’t familiar with iTunes U, you could be missing out on a potentially valuable opportunity at a free education. Teachers can create virtual classrooms by combining audio and video files, presentations, PDFs, iBook textbooks, ePub books and more in one place for students to use. By downloading the free iTunes U app for iPad or iPhone (iBooks only work on the iPad), students can visit the “courses” in their library and access all the resources that have been collected together by their teacher.
The program has largely been targeted at classroom learning, giving students at all levels a more enriched experience. According to TechCrunch, Apple has sold more than eight million iPads directly to schools around the world - including approximately 4.5 million in the U.S. - giving students the opportunity to access the optimized iTunes U experience.
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As for who’s using iTunes U, the answer is easy – students. But it’s not limited to post-secondary and grade school students. There are currently 2,500 courses available free to the public aside from the additional cost of an occasional textbook.
While the first schools included in the program were all U.S.-based, the program has expanded worldwide, including some schools in Canada. Nine Canadian institutions including Brock, McGill, McMaster, Queen’s, UBC, Western, and the universities of Montreal and Lethbridge are currently offering courses to some degree via iTunes U.
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