Apple made a big splash in NYC in January when it announced an improved iTunes U application. Once simply a section of the iTunes store, Apple relaunched iTunes U as a dedicated app for iOS devices. As Phil Schiller, a senior vice president at Apple, explained, iTunes U courses enable “anyone anywhere at any time to take courses for free.”
iTunes U expanded by adding new features to simplify course management. In doing so, Apple went head-to-head with existing learning management systems like Blackboard. Using the iTunes U software platform, K-12 and higher education instructors can manage entire courses; instructors can post class announcements, material in various formats, homework, and class information. At the time of the announcement, iTunes U already had 1000 universities using it and 700 million downloads.
Following the announcement, many suggested that iTunes U would be the future of college education—the de facto platform that would give any student, anywhere, access to high quality education material. Considering all the hype about this great product, why is it that the country’s top universities have instead decided to take a different approach to online learning?
Full Text: Why iTunes U Isn’t Seeing Massive Adoption by Universities | edcetera – Rafter Blog.
In keeping with Steve Jobs’ vision of transforming education, Apple has expanded its iTunes U so that professors can now offer entire courses, not just lectures.
So far, though, not many colleges and universities are rushing to drop the platforms they already use for online learning and adopt the new application from the technology heavyweight.
Apple bills the expanded iTunes U as “an entire course in one app,” with the capacity to accommodate lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi. Although the application is free, the courses can be accessed only on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, Apple products whose prices may be unaffordable for college students with limited financial resources.
[Our take: Apple needs to realise there is value in making the iPad et al so it can load non-apple apps and its apps loadable on other technology.]
via Bay State Banner – Universities reluctant to use iTune U.
The Open University (OU), a UK distance learning institution, reveals that 52 of its courses have reached 50 million downloads through iTunes U in 15 months, and says that the new iTunes U iPad app has helped entice one million new subscribers to OU courses.
via Open University gains a million course subscribers via iTunes U iPad app | TabTimes.