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Apple iTunes U education platform tops 1bn downloads

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Apple's iTunes U, the service offering educational content and digital textbooks on iPhones and iPads, has topped one billion downloads since it launched last year.

Available to iOS users, the iTunes U app contains one of the world's largest online catalogues of free educational materials from schools, libraries, museums and learning organisations. The content includes lectures, assignments, textbooks, quizzes and more.

Eddie Cue, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, introduces iTunes U for iPad

© PA Images / Mark Lennihan/AP



Over 60% of the 1bn iTunes U downloads have come from outside the US, which Apple believes gives the platform an "unmatched global reach" for educators.

Leading universities, such as Duke, Yale, Oxford and MIT, have used iTunes to extend their reach by enrolling more than 100,000 students in single iTunes U courses.

Stanford University and The Open University have each surpassed 60 million content downloads using the platform.

"It's inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

"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."

iTunes U logo
Mother and daughter using tablet computer

© Rex Features / OJO Images



Ohio State University's Matthew Stoltzfus managed to enrol over 10,000 iTunes U students to his general chemistry course in the first year it was offered.

He said that applicants have hailed from a broad range of backgrounds, ranging from high school students to retired people.

"The interest my iTunes U course receives from non-college students is overwhelming," said Professor Stoltzfus.

"I've been working with high school teachers who use my iTunes U material to prepare to teach their own classes, high school students all over the world who are leveraging the course to tutor their fellow classmates, even retirees who download my iTunes U course to stay intellectually active."

Educators can now create iTunes U course in 30 countries, including the recent additions of Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

The tailored course, and other content, can be accessed in more than 155 countries using the iTunes U app on iOS devices.

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