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iTunes U: the first mobile-ready free learning channel


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I presented this paper at MobiLearnAsia 2012 Conference in Sentosa, Singapore on 24 October 2012.

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iTunes U: the first mobile-ready free learning channel

  1. 1. iTunes U: the first mobile-ready free learning channel Terese Bird Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow University of Leicester MobiLearnAsia 24-25 Oct 2012 – Sentosa,
  2. 2. SPIDER Project
  3. 3. What will we talk about?• iTunes U FAQs• iTunes U history• ‘Most mobile-ready’• Ebook trends and iTunes U implications Photo courtesy of womensnet_gallery,• iTunes U case studies Flickr
  4. 4. iTunes U: free learning since 2005 / 2007
  5. 5. iTunes U how to: mp3, mp4, pdf, epub, ibooks
  6. 6. Duke University – iPod per freshman Photo by m-s-y on Flickr
  7. 7. Recorded lecture Photo by tama leaver on Flickr
  8. 8. Most mobile-ready free learning channel• Works best on Apple handhelds• Works on Androids• Android v iPhone• iPad v Nexus• One-iPad-per-child Photo by superkimbo on Flickr
  9. 9. iTunes U v YouTube YouTube iTunes UEase to publish Easy EasyEase to grab Not so easy EasyEase to adapt Not so easy Not so easyCC Catered for but hidden Catered for but hiddenFormats Video Audio, video, epub, pdfAcademic quality Mixed, diluted Very Good to ExcellentInternet 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 All All; easier on iOSAds Irritating ads No ads
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. Download numbers as of June 2012 (Bird, 2012)
  12. 12. International reach 3 June 2008 – 2 January 2012
  13. 13. International reach – opinions on Sina Weibo
  14. 14. TrendsMagrid Associates (2012)
  15. 15. TrendsMagrid Associates (2012)
  16. 16. TrendsMagrid Associates (2012)
  17. 17. Trends
  18. 18. Trends – Apple is dropping prices• One-third of US high school students own iPhone (price drop on iPhone 3Gs) (Slivka, 2012)• iPad2 for £329• In our Spring 2012 survey, 34% of students owned a tablet computer (same percentage as iPhones), up from 29% in Fall 2011 and 22% last Spring. Of those tablet owners, 70% owned iPads, 19% owned Android tablets, and 11% owned Kindle Fires. 53% of iPad owners also owned an iPhone, demonstrating the halo effect of entry devices like the iPhone.
  19. 19. iPads in learning• Over 600 American school districts are using iPads (StaffWriters, 2012)• Many UK university iPad pilots• Leicester iPads(Iman, 2012)
  20. 20. Now iTunes U has ‘Courses’• Course: A series of educational lectures, lessons, interviews, and so on, in a particular subject. Courses consist of info (including an overview, outline, and instructor profile), posts (including assignments), and materials (for example, audio and video items). Instructors can create and prepare content for a course by recording lectures, developing assignments, creating videos and podcasts, uploading keynote presentations or other documents and handouts, and much more. (Apple, 2012)
  21. 21. Now iTunes U has ‘Courses’
  22. 22. Now iTunes U has ‘Courses’
  23. 23. How to make Courses• Need to be in iTunes U• Apple’s own instructions ‘iTunes U Course Manager’ (Apple, 2012)• Cedar’s School of Excellence tutorials on iTunes U are excellent (Speirs, 2012)
  24. 24. eBooks for all devices!• Calibre – free, open- source, cross-platform• mobi – Kindle• epub – everything else• iPads read epub!• There’s always pdf but…
  25. 25. eBooks for all devices!• How-to video on YouTube and iTunes U, view on• Instructions at:• Findings from DUCKLING project – JISC-funded
  26. 26. Should we just ignore Apple, iPads &iTunes U?• Must keep them in sight• iPad2 discount – affordable?• Apple playing a long game (Hill, 2012)• iPad is number 1 tablet in education, no one else is doing anything like iTunes U
  27. 27. Try epub,consider iTunes U• manufacturingpasts as example of trying all formats
  28. 28. Conclusions from iTunes U Cases
  29. 29. Thank you!Apple. (2012). Using iTunes U Public Site Manager: Glossary. Using iTunes U Public Site Manager. Retrieved June 19, 2012, from, P. (2012). Apple is Playing the Long Game with iBooks 2 and iTunesU App | e-Literatee-Literate. eLiterate Website. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from, F. (2012). University of Leicester takes learning into the heart of conflict zones — University of Leicester. University of Leicester website. Retrieved June 19, 2012, from releases/2012/march/university-of-leicester-takes-learning-into-the-heart-of-conflict-zonesMagrid Associates, F. N. (2012). A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User Wave II. Retrieved from, E. (2012). One-Third of U.S. High School Students Now Own an iPhone - Mac Rumors. MacRumors website. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from, F. (2012). Creating iTunes U Courses - Download Free Content from Cedars School of Excellence on iTunes. Cedars School of Excellence iTunes U site. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from courses/id535005672staff writers for Online site. (2012). 18 enlightening ipad experiments in education  » online universities. Online website. Retrieved June 19, 2012, from experiments-in-education