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April 2, 2012

Stanford on iTunes U hits new milestone

Lectures, courses and concerts have been downloaded 50 million times, as interest in online education grows.

In subjects ranging from human behavior to linguistics, Stanford lectures captured on audio and video and offered on Stanford's iTunes U have been downloaded a whopping 50 million times.

The milestone, reached March 14, comes nearly seven years after Stanford became the first university to offer public access to campus lectures, concerts and courses through iTunes U.

"It shows there is a huge appetite for high-quality educational content," said Brent Izutsu, the senior program manager for Stanford on iTunes U. "And that will only grow as more people look online to supplement their education."

The courses attract everyone from high school students and mid-career professionals to retirees, Izutsu said.

The most popular offerings are in engineering, where students can learn to build an iOS app or study quantum physics under one of the fathers of string theory, Leonard Susskind.

More than 100 collections of Stanford course lectures in subjects including entrepreneurship, American history and clinical anatomy are available through Apple's iTunes store.

There also are 13 full courses offered on the iTunes U app that include assignments and supplemental reading material. Since January, when the app was launched, nearly 300,000 people have enrolled in the iOS course using their iPads and iPhones, and almost 98,000 have signed up for Programming Methodology.

Students do not receive credit or certificates of study for taking the courses.

Apple formally launched iTunes U in 2007, two years after it tested the site in collaboration with Stanford and several other pilot schools. By January, iTunes U had logged more than 700 million downloads, with Stanford's content among the most popular. 



Brent Izutsu, SoiT, (650) 736-0784,

Brooke Donald, Stanford News Service, (650) 725-0224,

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