Apple iTunes U Educational Portal Downloads Crossed 300 Million : iTunes U, Apple’s content distribution system for university students, allowing them to access anything from lectures to movies, from language lessons to audiobooks, has been downloaded for the 300 millionth time.
Students can use iTunes U to find lectures and other materials related to their studies, of course, but really anyone with an interest in continued education can browse the store’s contents for audio or video that meets their areas of interest. For example, here’s a collection from the Stanford Historical Society, and another from Japan’s Keio University. All iTunes U content is free.
iTunes U supplies content from universities and other organizations, including PBS. Unlike iTunes, where users generally pay to download content, the audio, video, PDF files, slideshows, and other associated content on iTunes U is free, but may be restricted either to a given’s school’s student body, or opened to the public at large.
“iTunes U makes it easy for people to discover and learn with content from many of the world’s top institutions,” explains Eddy Cue, Apple’s Vice President of Internet Services. “With such a wide selection of educational material, we’re providing iTunes users with an incredible way to learn on their computer, iPhone, iPod or iPad.”
The success of the iTunes U has been building up slowly for the last three years. At the end of last year the number of times iTunes U was downloaded hardly exceeded 100 million – but in the last eight months it started to grow unexpectedly fast, reaching 300 million downloads to date.
According to Apple, iTunes U has now become “one of the world’s most popular online educational catalogs.”