6. iTunes U And Open Content In The Papers

There was an excellent piece in the Sunday Times recently - very positive, factually correct and great publicity for Oxford and OUCS.

Sunday Times article. Press articles on Oxford's iTunesU project.

6.1. Quote from “Self-learners’ creating university of online”

This time last year Philosophy lecturer Marianne Talbot was embarking on a standard series of lectures on philosophy at Oxford University. Her words are still echoing around the world.

“It was a perfectly ordinary lecture I gave to an audience, but the University asked me if I’d mind if they recorded it and made a podcast,” said Talbot last week. “The next thing I knew it had hit No 1.” Her talk, A romp through the history of philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to the present day, had topped the list of most-downloaded items on iTunes U.

“I got congratulatory e-mails from the techie people and I was tickled pink. I started thinking: how many is that? Presumably more than 20, but is it 100?”

Talbot, Director of Studies in Philosophy at the Department for Continuing Education at Oxford, had no idea how far her lecture was spreading. “Apparently the number of downloads is 5,000 a week,” she said. “It’s extraordinary. It’s difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that throughout the world 5,000 people are downloading my lecture every week.”

Talbot admits she was fortunate to choose an engaging title in a subject of wide appeal. Nevertheless, she describes the potential of such open access as “awesome”.

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