Apple announced on Thursday that its iTunes U education service has seen more than a billion downloads, with 60 percent of those from outside the U.S.
iTunes U has free educational content from top schools, as well as prominent libraries, museums and organizations. Apple said the program helps educators create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes, and more.
The iTunes U application is a free download available in the App Store. As of Thursday, Apple is celebrating a billion downloads by highlighting the service's most popular courses, including Stanford's iOS development teachings, a psychology class on understanding happiness from TED, and Yale University's course on financial markets.
"Itâs inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U." â Eddy Cue, Appleâs senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
"Itâs inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U," said Eddy Cue, Appleâs senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before―there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn."
iTunes U has more than 1,200 universities and colleges, and 1,200 kindergarten through grade 12 schools and districts hosting more than 2,500 public and thousands of private courses. Those courses encompass topics such as the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more.
More than 100,000 students have been enrolled in single iTunes U courses at leading universities Duke, Yale, Cambridge, MIT and Oxford.
Apple chose to highlight the Ohio State University's Matthew "Dr. Fus" Stoltzfus, whose General Chemistry course enrolled over 100,000 iTunes U students in the first year it was offered.
"The interest my iTunes U course receives from non-college students is overwhelming." â Prof. Matthew Stoltzfus, the Ohio State University.
"The interest my iTunes U course receives from non-college students is overwhelming," Stoltzfus said. "Iâve been working with high school teachers who use my iTunes U material to prepare to teach their own classes, high school students all over the world who are leveraging the course to tutor their fellow classmates, even retirees who download my iTunes U course to stay intellectually active."
The company also noted that more than 60 percent of iTunes U application downloads originate from outside of the U.S. This gives schools of any size the ability to share their content with a worldwide audience, giving people like University of California, Irvine Professor Dan Stokols an international presence.
"Because of iTunes U, I have been able to introduce students and colleagues in China to research on the links between chronic multi-tasking, information overload and stress; discuss research publications and degree programs with students in Europe; and exchange information about the influence of neighborhood design on community levels of physical activity and obesity with students in Australia," said Stokols, whose Environmental Psychology course enrolls over 170,000 students on iTunes U. "The opportunity to impact so many students who are gaining interest in environmental psychology by taking my free course on iTunes U has been highly rewarding and gratifying for me as an educator and learner."
iTunes U courses can now be created by educators in a total of 30 countries. Newly added nations include Brazil, South Korea, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.