iTunes U: Corporate Channel of Free Educational Resources


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This short paper was presented at ALT-C 2011 at University of Leeds, UK, on 8 September 2011. Terese Bird is a SCORE Fellow with Open University, UK.

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  • Subset of the apple store Also a programme which catches your multimedia files and arranges them for you Universities produce sound and video learning material and make them available thru itunes U. Granular OER – not many “full courses” although there are some. Integrity model, not essence or remix model
  • iTunes U might be considered the cool OER channel. Apple cool born digital, multimedia, ready for mobile
  • Tour Free program for computers – Windows and Macs – you don’t need an apple handheld device to use iTunes
  • Good search Would be better if we could choose by license
  • Universities & Colleges K – 12 (primary and secondary) Beyond Campus
  • From the Open University, it looks like it. Open University is all distance. Pioneers in utilising broadcasting and various media in teaching. Open University was one of the first three in Europe to join iTunes U.(other 2 are oxford and Trinity College Dublin)
  • Started as a pilot programme – Apple worked with several universities – Duke in autumn 2004 gave out iPods …. Then iTunes U was in 2005, officially unveiled in May 2007, came to the UK in 2008. Started mainly as a way of distributing recorded lectures(sound-only) to enrolled students. In the USA universities store their stuff on Apple servers. Here in the UK, only on our own servers. For us, then, the ownership is very clear. It’s our stuff. It did not begin with
  • Obama pledged $50 million in 2009 to the OER cause, and another $2 billion in January 2011 – for career and training programmes to be administered and overseen largely thru local colleges, and all associated material must be produced under Creative Commons 3.0 license
  • A new method of giving individual items individual licenses in the metadata is apparently on its way
  • Contributors – both individuals and the institution
  • Youtube banned in China, Turkey, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Morocco – Iran flip-flops Star rating and comments but not many comments
  • Good analytics from iTunes U – can see the increasing numbers of these accessed by mobile devices
  • It’s all about the iPad now – completely dominating the tablet market – for now
  • It’s all about the iPad now – completely dominating the tablet market – for now
  • iTunes U: Corporate Channel of Free Educational Resources

    1. 1. iTunes U: Corporate channel of free educational resources SPIDER: Sharing Practice with iTunes U Digital Eduational Resources Terese Bird Learning Technologist and SCORE Fellow University of Leicester/Open University ALT-C 8 September, 2011
    2. 2. What’ll we talk about? <ul><li>What is iTunes U? </li></ul><ul><li>I s iTunes U an OER channel? </li></ul><ul><li>Impact – not just downloads </li></ul><ul><li>How to join in </li></ul>Photo courtesy of quiroso on Flickr
    3. 3. iTunes U for University
    4. 4. iTunes U USPs
    5. 6. Power Search
    6. 7. Not just universities
    7. 8. Is iTunes U OER?
    8. 9. Way back in 2005 …
    9. 10. What is OER? <ul><li>OER Commons: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.” </li></ul>
    10. 11. Most important to learners & educators! ✔ ✔ ✗ Free Accessible Good Quality Learners Easily adapted Educators Copyright OK
    11. 13. Under the category “OER Tools and Services” Services” Yuan, L., MacNeill, S., Kraan, W. (2008) Open Educational Resources – Opportunities and Challenges for Higher Education, Educational Cybernetics: Reports 2008, 35. Retrieved from
    12. 14. Elements of a successful OER channel <ul><li>Attractive to contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Usable </li></ul><ul><li>Useful </li></ul><ul><li>Used (and re-used) </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul>Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Library on Flickr
    13. 15. iTunes U OER Scorecard Attractive to contributors Usable Useful Used Sustainable Profile ✔ User Experience ✔ Quality material ✔ Download numbers ✔ Over 800 universities ✔ ‘ Apple gloss’ ✔ Search function ✔ Consistency ✔ Teachers ✔ Apple ✔ International reach ✔ Apple mobile ✔ Copyright ✗ ✔ − Personal ✔ Benefit to contributors/institution ✔ Linux, Android  ✗ Feedback ✗ ✔ Not very repurposable ✗ ✔ Discoverability ✗ ✔ Community ✗
    14. 16. Downloads University Downloads Open University, UK Over 38 million since June 2008 University of Oxford Over 10 million since June 2008 Coventry University 2.5 million in 2010 alone University of Warwick 1 million Jan ‘09 – June ‘10 Cranfield University 5000 in 1 st 10 days
    15. 19. 31 August – 7 September iTunesU Tweets Language No. of Tweets Language No. of Tweets English 155 Portuguese 3 Japanese 52 Croatian 2 French 34 Indonesian 2 Spanish 15 Russian 2 Turkish 5 China 1 German 3 Dutch 1 Norwegian 3 Korean 1 Polish 3 Slovak 1
    16. 20. Major Themes Theme Example Specific recommendation to another person You might find MIT's OCW site of interest, also on iTunesU, for Python: They just posted new lectures from @BunBTrillOG on iTunesU psyched to listen.&quot; << from when he was teaching @ Rice? Man there's some good podcasts on itunesU for game theory.. Really good stuff..! Report that I am learning something with iTunes U Sunday morning with Paul Hegarty & iOS studies. History of the Pixel – #iTunesU | RMIT University Watching a video podcast from Dallas Theological Seminary offered free thru iTunesU. Learn your way to the next level! #noexcuseforignorance
    17. 21. Unexpected themes Theme Example Series Excellent videos to review Clinical Anatomy from Stanford University, presented by R.Snell. Fifteen episodes downloadable free from iTunesU. @cells_nnm new lectures on iTunesU this winter. Story about the class here: Addictive & Enjoyable TunesU courses downloaded into the iPad = life is good.   Dear iTunes, you are full of bloat but your collection of awesome lectures on iTunesU is both brilliant and addictive   I have just discovered life is now complete.   The good: I haven't use iTunes in over a week! The bad: I am craving some iTunesU lectures… #iTunesU #VamosAqui
    18. 22. Evidence of reuse Theme Example Reuse looking for ideas on how to use #itunesu in my math classroom. love you videos . . . saw your #itunesu videos, great stuff, will use your image editing ideas with my #mimio interactive board Tennessee teacher check out GSPP podcasts for LA & Math at iTunesU. Kid friendly language very appropriate with practice ho linked 2 spi .
    19. 23. Other Impact <ul><li>‘ Apple gloss’ ends up encouraging OER discussion at institution </li></ul><ul><li>PhD student applications improve </li></ul><ul><li>Hits on university website increase </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia OER </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile OER </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond Campus </li></ul><ul><li>K-12 </li></ul>Photo courtesy of superkimbo on Flickr
    20. 24. How to jump in
    21. 25. How to jump in
    22. 26. How to jump in
    23. 27. Make it work for you
    24. 28. References <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Yuan, L., MacNeill, S., Kraan, W. (2008) Open Educational Resources – Opportunities and Challenges for Higher Education, Educational Cybernetics: Reports 2008, 35. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>White, D., Wild, J., Masterman, L., Manton, M. (2011) JISC OER Impact Study: Research Report. Retrieved from </li></ul>