FORTUNE -- In a press release issued Thursday, Apple (AAPL) announced that content from its iTunes U site has been downloaded more than 1 billion times since the free educational service launched in May 2007.
There are now individual classes with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, according to Eddy Cue, the senior VP in charge of the site, and not just fun stuff like the TED lecture on Understanding Happiness. All of the classes featured on Apple's Most Popular Courses page have recorded at least 50,000 downloads and many require some heavy lifting, like Ohio State's General Chemistry class (100,000 downloads the first year) and UC Irvine's Environment Psychology class (170,000 students enrolled).
My favorite is still Michael Sandel's Harvard University class on Justice, which starts off with a bang with an 54-minute lecture on The Moral Side of Murder and The Case for Cannibalism.
Below: iTunes U's five-year growth curve.
For those who couldn't make it to the Guggenheim Museum Thursday morning, Apple (AAPL) has posted the full 60-minute video on its website here. Except for the hands-on demos and the free mac and cheese, it's almost as good as being there.
For our live coverage of the event, click here.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 19, 2012 2:44 PM ET
New tools and platforms for replacing today's paper textbooks with iPads
Apple (AAPL) on Thursday introduced three new inititatives by which it hopes to "reinvent the textbook" around the iPad:
iBooks 2, a new iPad app and reading tool offering searchable, interactive, updatable textbooks filled with as many videos, photo galleries, glossaries and study guides as publishers choose to throw in
iTunes author, a Mac app with an array of tools for creating MORE
After a relatively slow start, downloads have tripled since Dec. 2009 to hit 300 million
iTunes U, which began as a modest extension of Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Store in May 2007, has grown into one of the world's largest catalogs of educational course material -- with most of that growth occurring in the past eight months.
On Tuesday Apple announced that iTunes U downloads have now topped 300 million. That's up from MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 24, 2010 11:05 AM ET
Requests "confidentiality treatment" for iPhone 4 specs even as it spills the beans on iTunes
Patently Apple has turned up a curious letter. It was sent on June 4, three days before Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4, to the Federal Communications Commission -- the government agency that must certify any wireless device before it can be marketed in the U.S.
Signed by Apple's (AAPL) wireless compliance manager, it requests confidentiality for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 18, 2010 1:42 PM ET
A Florida university is providing each of its student athletes with a MacBook Pro
They get the glory. They get the cheerleaders. And now they get free MacBooks.
In what it claims is a first, the University of South Florida announced Wednesday that it is loaning all of its student athletes -- some 460 in all -- 13-inch MacBook Pros so that can keep up with their studies while on the road.
As MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 9, 2009 11:54 AM ET
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