I'm no longer involved with iTunes U as I was when we built our site (very successfully, I might add) at NJIT. I've written here a number of times about podcasting and I think it's an important learning tool and a significant marketing tool too for a school to use.
I'd love to see my new home at Passaic County Community College get into that area, but it's not part of my current job. If your school is considering trying to enter iTunes U, I can suggest the seminars being offered by Apple that look at the IT aspects of becoming a participating school. For smaller institutions like PCCC, the size and capabilities of your IT staff might be the biggest factor in successfully making it into iTunes U.
The Apple seminars (which cover other educational areas too, so search by PRODUCT/iTunes U for the current offerings) on iTunes U are listed right now as being in NY, KY & IL and have a cost of $149.
Understand the power of iTunes U. Learn hands-on how you can get started delivering educational contentâ€”class lectures, interviews, videos, and other course materialsâ€”that students can access in the familiar iTunes environment anytime, anywhere with their iPod, Mac, or PC. iTunes U is designed as a service that enables schools to easily manage and deliver a broad range of audio, video, and PDF content to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the public.
The content is set to include four IT/admin areas that I would agree are critical to this process:
- Initial iTunes U set-up, site activation and preference tracking
- iTunes U site planning and templates
- Building a transfer script for administrative access
- Understanding and using identifiers and credentials
If you need more than just IT information, I'll recommend the on-demand 3 webinar series from Higher Ed Experts that I participated in last fall. The three programs cover the biggest areas a school needs to address outside of IT support.
- "Podcasting 101: How to record and produce your podcasts with ease" is the technical & production side of podcasting. Micah Ovadia, from the University of Cincinnati is the author of "PoducateMe, Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education," and he'll discuss what you need to know to get your institution started with podcasting. He shares a simple plan to get your institution ready to plan, record, produce and publish its first podcasts in 30 days.
- Dennis Miller (Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania) covers marketing and how podcasts can become powerful tools to engage students and their parents. He shares best practices and good tips to make sure your podcasts find their audience.
- My session is called "To be or not to be an iTunes U(niversity)" and I addressed what it takes to join Apple iTunes U (and if you even should consider applying to Apple ) and how we planned and implemented NJIT on iTunes U in 2007. I also talk about our podcasting efforts before iTunes U and use of podcasting outside the iTunes platform. There are ways you might optimize your presence there, and in other platforms. NJIT was one of the original sixteen schools to be featured by Apple in iTunes U in May 2007.