World classroom – La Trobe tops charts on iTunesU

Posted on June 8, 2011


La Trobe history series tops global charts on iTunesU.

Podcasts from La Trobe University’s Australian History Collection topped the charts on iTunesU world homepage in late May, peaking at 57,140 downloads in one day – an average of one every 1.5 seconds.

La Trobe shared the top ten with leading universities Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Stanford and MIT. More than 800 universities world-wide are now active on iTunesU, according to latest figures by Apple Education.

La Trobe Media and Communications Director, Mark Pearce, said visitors from more than 100 countries downloaded the La Trobe podcasts, with China making up 25 per cent of the total.

Academics featured in the collection include archaeologist and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Professor Tim Murray, and historians Professor Chris Mackie, Professor Marilyn Lake, Professor Richard Broome, Dr Charles Fahey and Dr Marina Larsson.

Subject matter ranges from migration, first settlement, the gold rush, Aboriginal history, the White Australia Policy to Gallipoli, World War One, the Anzacs and urban archaeology in Melbourne.

1.5 million downloads

Since its launch in October 2009, La Trobe on iTunesU has become an important way of engaging current and prospective students. The University has more than 500 free educational podcasts and videos on the site. These have achieved more than a 1.5 million downloads by people from 171 countries. About 60 per cent of traffic is from Asia.

La Trobe podcast series have been promoted on the front page of iTunesU six times, leading to spikes in downloads. For example, in August last year the Islamic Banking and Finance collection achieved 140,000 downloads.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development), Professor John Rosenberg said iTunesU was an ‘ideal place for us to show our academic knowledge and research to the world’.

‘It’s an excellent environment for reaching a large Australian and international audience who would otherwise miss the opportunity of accessing the teaching of some of the best minds this country has to offer.’

Mr Pearce, whose unit manages La Trobe on iTunesU, said selection for the top spot on iTunesU was a very rare privilege.

‘It attests to the excellent quality of content and the fact Australian History had been in the top spot for Australia’s regional iTunesU for a number of weeks,’ he said.

‘La Trobe has been more successful with iTunesU than other universities because we have kept a tight hold on the quality and consistency of our output and included interviews with very prominent academics and politicians.

‘La Trobe on iTunesU is a very high quality source of relevant information for students, academics and the public at large all over the world,’ he added.

Click here to download La Trobe University’s top-ranking Australian History Collection