12. iTunesU

Banner as seen on iTunes U site

Oxford’s iTunes U site is now 2 years old. It has had just over 5 million downloads, contains more hours of material than any other UK university and regularly has several podcasts in the global top ten.

The ‘Building a Business’ series is still popular and Marianne Talbot is following up her phenomenally successful ‘Romp through the history of philosophy’ (more than half a million downloads) with ‘The Nature of Arguments’, part of her ‘Critical Reasoning for Beginners’ series.

Content is being added regularly to the site. All content is free for you to download and watch or listen to.

Screen shot of the ipad advert

Recent highlights include:

  • History of Tropical Medicine at Oxford
  • La Bella Principessa: A Leonardo Discovered
  • General Philosophy
  • Oxford Climate Forum
  • Stephen Garrett, News International Visiting Professorship of Broadcast Media
  • Translational Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Alumni Weekend 2010

Oxford’s site

12.1. Watched by Millions

Oxford’s iTunes U site features in the latest Apple iPad TV advert. It aired for the first time in the US on 1st November across all major networks in prime time, including during a World Series game (which Apple tell us is quite popular). This advert also was shown throught Nov/Dec on UK prime time TV.

The advert features one of Professor James Binney’s Quantum Mechanics lectures. He has since jumped up to number 6 in the Top Downloads chart (making 4 Oxford podcasts in the Top 15)

You can see the advert on the Apple website. Many thanks to Stuart Lee for heroically sorting out the legal paperwork, to PAD’s Carolyne Culver, to Pete Robinson and Steve Pierce, and to Professor Binney.

12.2. Potential Podcasters Gather in Isis

Icons for various iTunes U videos

On a bitterly cold Friday afternoon in early December, twenty Alumni and Development officers from colleges and departments across the University gathered at OUCS to hear about how podcasting could help them provide value to their alumni and encourage generous donations.

Paul Jeffreys (Director of IT) introduced the event and Peter Robinson from the Learning Technologies Group gave a presentation that showcased iTunesU and the fantastic podcasting resource that has been built up over the last couple of years.

Delegates were treated to snippets from a number of favourite podcasts and a showing of the Apple advert featuring Professor Binney giving a lecture on quantum mechanics that has been broadcast on UK and US television. Peter suggested a range of approaches to using podcasting that the delegates might like to try and – with warm geniality – encouraged them to ‘have a go’ themselves. He explained that there is a great deal of support available, including expert help, the loan of equipment, enthusiastic student podcasting teams and specific training for beginners at OUCS.

The question and answer session soon dispelled doubts about costs and fears about technology. Ideas were buzzing. Over tea and cakes afterwards, delegates spoke of how their imaginations had been sparked by what they had seen, and many were already planning podcasts and brainstorming how they could use the resource to reach their alumni and highlight events at their colleges and departments. Ideas included showcasing material using blogs and compiling click- through playlists on websites.

The message seemed clear – podcasting is accessible and catching on in a big way!

By the beginning of December 2010, the Oxford on iTunesU channel achieved:

  • 7 million downloads
  • 240 different lecture sets containing around 1,900 items
  • more than 50,000 podcasts are downloaded each week
  • several Oxford talks regularly appear in the global top 20 iTunesU downloads with more than 5,000 downloads per week.

New Improved guidance pages for Oxford Podcasters (including help videos)

12.3. We’re on Twitter !

Get short, timely messages from Oxford Podcasts.

Twitter is a rich source of instantly updated information. It’s easy to stay updated on an incredibly wide variety of topics. Why not follow @oxfordpodcasts.

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