iTunes U Hits One Billion Downloads of Free Educational Content

itunes_u_iconApple today announced that its iTunes U service has hit one billion downloads, less than six years after its official debut.

“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.”

Apple notes that over 1,200 colleges and universities and over 1,200 K-12 schools are using iTunes U, offering thousands of public and private courses through the service. Over 60% of iTunes U downloads are coming from outside of the United States.

Apple also touts the sheer size of some of iTunes U's offerings, with several universities offering courses seeing enrollments of over 100,000 and Stanford University and The Open University each having topped 60 million downloads of their content.

iTunes U debuted as a partnership with Stanford University in October 2005 before launching in an expanded form in mid-2007. A year ago, Apple launched its dedicated iTunes U app as part of an education-focused event leveraging the iPad as the learning platform for the future.

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Top Rated Comments

lincolntran Avatar
147 months ago
iTunes U is a great step toward a better society. Knowledge should be freely shared for everyone.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keane16 Avatar
147 months ago
Things like iTunes U are what I really love about iOS.

Supremely useful and sync across my iOS devices. I'm watching less and less TV and instead I've managed to take part in some fantastic classes.

One of the reasons I won't be off to Android/WP/Blackberry anytime soon. :)

Massive thanks to all involved in providing this, from the back end infrastructure to the classes themselves.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vmachiel Avatar
147 months ago
Awesome, I use it all the time! Great place to learn stuff outside of your field
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
needfx Avatar
147 months ago
I looked for stunt driving lessons but no luck...:(
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KdParker Avatar
147 months ago
Many of the courses are downright amazing. Quality professors teaching with great visual aids, and the ability to rewind and watch portions of a lecture again. For example, when I find I've drifted off for 5 minutes and have no clue what the professor just said - I can just go back and hear it again.

Every college student should supplement his own college's courses with some of these courses if they have difficulty with certain subjects or just a topic within a subject.

I agree completely. I still am surprised that the content for iTunes U is still free.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
writingdevil Avatar
147 months ago
While that's very impressive I just feel there is a lot more that Apple could do with the iTunesU content and software. Wouldn't it be amazing if they mapped out the all the courses you would need for specific degrees so that becoming self taught is that much easier.[/

Apple's contribution to learning is truly amazing, the quality of course work excellent and availability unfettered. It's always good to seek improvement but what you suggest isn't feasible. You may not be familiar with academic degrees, but it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to boiler plate degree requirements. Every educational institution has a variety of degrees with innumerable options, including areas of major and minor emphasis, content options, elective choices and on and on.
Many universities offer, tuition based, online degrees where a clear path to a degree can be worked out with online help from the university. This is a 'free university' kind of experience for self starters, and a really outstanding one. A billion times outstanding.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)