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Digital technology

At The Open University, we’re dedicated to offering you a flexible higher education, wherever you are in the world.

Since our beginnings over forty years ago, we’ve pioneered distance learning - and now we’re pioneering all over again with our use of digital technology.

There are no dusty lecture rooms and chalk boards with us; instead, think online tutorials and course materials that you can download from an app.

We want to make your studies as flexible, convenient and portable as possible, which is why we invest in the latest digital technology – so that your studies will fit around your life.

Here the some of the ways in which current students manage their studies across a range of devices:


I use my iPad mini a lot for uni. Only use my laptop for typing the assignment. I use [the] mini for everything else. I even Dropbox my assignment into the iPad to then upload to the uni website.

OU student

I have the Apple 'Pages' and 'Numbers' apps and I do ALL of my uni work on [my iPad]. Even the online tutorials!! Just make sure you store all your work in online cloud storage.

OU student

I do mostly use my iPhone with the OU App. But you can export your study materials also to Evernote to have it on your computer, for example. I do also have an iPad, but would never use it solely. I think it depends on your learning style.

OU student

The OU Anywhere app

One of our most recent innovations is the OU Anywhere app.

Launched in January 2013, the app makes our course materials available on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

The free app enables you to download digital versions of Open University-produced textbooks, DVDs and audio CDs, allowing you to study at home, at work, or on the move - giving a true mobile learning experience.

We’re proud that the OU Anywhere app won two 2014 Guardian University Awards: one for ‘Best Student Experience’ and another for ‘Distance or Online Learning’.

Our ongoing commitment to digital innovation is reflected in our recent choice of Chancellor: digital champion Martha Lane Fox.

In her inaugural speech as Chancellor in September 2014, Baroness Lane-Fox said:


I have seen the power of technology to transform the way we live – from shopping and socialising, to working and studying. That is why I am so excited about becoming part of The Open University family, as it has an incredible track-record of harnessing new and emerging technologies to improve access to higher education for people all over the world.

Martha Lane Fox, Chancellor of The Open University