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iTunes U: Learning and Research Channel for Students, Showcase to the World


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This presentation was delivered at the Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 3 July 2012 in Manchester, UK

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iTunes U: Learning and Research Channel for Students, Showcase to the World

  1. 1. iTunes U: Learning and Research Channel for Students, Showcase to the World Terese Bird, Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow University of Leicester HEA Annual Conference, 3 July
  2. 2. SPIDER Project
  3. 3. What will we talk about?• iTunes U FAQs• How universities make use of iTunes U• International reach• Sustainability & VLE connection Photo courtesy of womensnet_gallery, Flickr
  4. 4. iTunes U: free learning since 2007
  5. 5. iTunes U how to
  6. 6. iTunes U v YouTube YouTube iTunes UEase to publish Easy Not so easyEase to grab Easy-ish EasyEase to adapt Not so easy Not so easyCC Catered but hidden Catered but hidden (?)Formats Video Audio, video, epub, pdfAcademic quality Mixed, diluted Very GoodInternet connection Required at the time Not required at the timeSoftware Any browser Free iTunes softwareTime limit 10 – 15 minutes* NoneRestrictions Banned in China, others NoneRestrictions in UK Schools don’t like Some unis don’t likeMobile-ready Smartphones, tablets All including non-smart iPods, best on AppleAds Irritating ads No ads
  7. 7. How universities make use of iTunes U• Both current learning and marketing• “It’s the great learning material that brings the registrations.” (Bean, 2011)• Research vignettes• Library and resources• Usually both iTunes U and YouTube
  8. 8. Download numbers Nov 2011 (Bird, 2012)
  9. 9. Current learning
  10. 10. Research-led
  11. 11. Research-led and assisting research
  12. 12. New models of distributing learning materials
  13. 13. New models of distributing learning materials (Dredge, 2012)
  14. 14. International reach 3 June 2008 – 2 January 2012
  15. 15. International reach – opinions on Sina Weibo
  16. 16. International reachUse – Twitter evidence31 Aug – 7 Sept 2011 iTunes U tweets (Bird, 2012)Language No. of Tweets Language No. of TweetsEnglish 155 Portuguese 3Japanese 52 Croatian 2French 34 Indonesian 2Spanish 15 Russian 2Turkish 5 China 1German 3 Dutch 1Norwegian 3 Korean 1Polish 3 Slovak 1
  17. 17. Positive reach
  18. 18. Positive reachTheme ExampleSeries 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: 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 havent use iTunes in over a week! The bad: I am craving some iTunesU lectures… #iTunesU #VamosAqui
  19. 19. Complement to VLE, not a substitute• Public• Shared with students and the world• ‘Courses’ which start out free, then if you want more, you must pay• Sustainable – Apple is world’s largest company
  20. 20. The Leicester approach• Already have YouTube• Building a web-based OER channel and iTunes U at the same time• Academics love idea of iTunes U• Academics are doing multimedia; brand & post• Slowly but surely
  21. 21. What’s your approach?Bean, M. (Open U. (2011). Martin Bean Presentation on Open University’siTunes U Channel. London.Bird, T. (2012). SPIDER: Shared Practice with iTunes U Digital EducationalResources (p. 26).Dredge, S. (2012). Open University signs up 1m subscribers on Apple’s iTunesU. Guardian website. Retrieved from