The Open University in the new iTunes U App released today

Live from your correspondent in New York at the Guggenheim Museum, Apple have just announced iBooks2, iBooks Author and the new iTunes U.

The new-look iTunes U released by Apple today includes an innovative iTunes U app. The Open University was one of the showcase Universities in their recent launch – of the hundred courses they released in the new channel today 51 were produced by our LTS and KMi team. We may have been the only non-US partner at this particular party, but you can be sure that Universities will be rushing to join this excellent space… and from today Apple is opening to Schools, it seems!

The new free iTunes U app provides a range of new things for us to use. For example, one powerful new feature is the ability to include ordered multiple media collections. Previously, iTunes U collections were all freely accessible audio and video collections. Now, a ‘course collection’ can have a ‘contextual narrative that includes documents, eBooks, and even links to resources hosted elsewhere. Instead of looking like Music Albums, they look like University Courses laid out as simple “learning pathways”.

Neatly, these learning pathway courses correspond pretty well with the course pathways of our own SocialLearn project. That will help us ensure that everything we do here, will have an exciting life in all other OER channels. But it is clear that the Apple channel is fantastically well suited to their killer iPad and mobile integration strategy. Well done Apple. Well done us!!!

As for the new (tres cool) iBooks2 combo … watch this space!

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