Wednesday, March 14. 2012
One of Apple's announcements earlier this year that did not get a lot of attention was that K12 Institutions can now sign up to deliver content in iTunes U. Most of the attention in January went to the news that textbooks were coming to iBooks and that author software to create your own books would be supported, along with a dedicated iTunes U app, which "bundles" courses in a manageable, multimedia package.
The K12 news could be more of a motivator for change than the textbooks in the K12 space. I can see some teachers creating textbooks, but creating podcasts and support materials for iTunes U will be much easier. In fact, many educators may already have some of those materials created and ready to upload.
Of course, K12 is very different than higher ed - especially when it comes to issues like permissions for using students and student work and the probable "review process" that will be required by a school district.
To get started with iTunes U, K12 school districts, universities, and colleges in 26 countries can start at eduapp.apple.com
Friday, October 9. 2009
Since my last iTunes U post, things have been pretty quiet in there. Colleges continue to add content, but nothing very dramatic has changed. Still, I suspect many of you have not sampled the podcasts in iTunes U. There is certainly a worldwide interest though. I couldn't find any statistics on iTunes U downloads, but just based on the 100,000+ hits on my posts about it here on Serendipity35, I would have to say that the numbers are huge.
The Beyond Campus section has some new content. (You'll need to have the free iTunes installed to view these links.) There are two local New Jersey offerings there: the Newark Museum and the Liberty Science Center. Teachers.tv is a new one. The George Lucas Foundation (also see Edutopia) has a presence now.
I am surprised, but pleased, to see that 5 of 13 sites in the K-12 area are from New Jersey.
In the main universities and colleges section, community colleges are still woefully underrepresented, especially considering the attention and money that is aimed at them this past year by the Obama administration and their rising enrollments sparked by high unemployment.
Want to get a sampler of what is available? Open up the iTunes U Top Downloads page. There's a whole college education waiting to be downloaded for free.
Tuesday, October 6. 2009
Creating podcasts is a good way to have students actively create and connect with the world around them. I have been in workshops led by my New Jersey colleague, Chris Shamburg, and what I really like about his approach to podcasting is not just having students develop content, but also learning to responsibly use content created by others in their work. He is good about having students use copyright-free (or copyleft) resources.
His new book is Student-Powered Podcasting (from ISTE) and though it is written for K-12 educators, there are many higher ed instructors and students that could benefit from its clear and straight-ahead approach.
A podcast is a series of digital audio or video files that are released episodically and downloaded through web syndication using RSS. The use of RSS and "subscriptions" differentiates podcasts from other ways of accessing media files over the Internet, such as simple downloads or streamed webcasts. For podcasts, subscribers use special client software applications known as podcatchers (iTunes, Zune, Juice, and Winamp are all popular free ones) that can automatically identify and download new files in the series when they are released.
The book leads Mac and PC users through tutorials for two software audio editing programs, GarageBand (from Apple) and Audacity (a free download for Windows or Mac) that students can use to create podcasts.
A first step with podcasting is simply using podcasts in your classroom, but then having students create their own is far more powerful. Though podcasting has been around since 2000, it is still new for many teachers and students.
Sure, podcasting is a powerful tool for teaching 21st-century literacy (which is the literacy of social processes) and tech skills. But, Chris would argue (and I would agree) that is can also teach students to empathize with others, develop relevant content and "publish" in a real way. What would have been the chances of you as a student prior to podcasting having a regularly syndicated radio or TV program available to the world?
I believe that we are at a revolutionary point in our history, a paradigm shift akin to the introduction of writing to the ancient Greeks or the effects of the printing press on Early Modern Europeans. We need to look at our teaching in this larger sweep of history. Twenty-first-century literacies involve the skills and mindsets associated with the digital technologies and global networking of the information age. These skills and mindsets are related to the immediate technologies, but they are also related to the larger and tacit shifts associated with digital technologies and global networking—shifts in social structures, culture, capital, and labor.Taking a look at the book's table of contents gives you a good sense of the scope of the book. Youu can read a sample - chapter one - of Student-Powered Podcasting.
Section two of the book contains 16 standalone units containing overviews, procedures for implementation, assessment rubrics, and links to examples. These classroom-tested projects are flexible and are meant to be adapted based on your students, subject matter, and resources available.
The Podcasting Legal Guide from Creative Commons
Friday, August 22. 2008
Back in May 2007, Apple added iTunes U (the area for colleges and universities) to the iTunes Store and I blogged about the first 16 colleges whose podcasts were being included there. That was logical because NJIT was one of those "sweet 16" schools. I have updated that post several times and included the growing list of colleges with an iTunes U presence.
I think the posts served a purpose and they got lots of views, but this will be the last update. Apple now lists all the colleges within iTunes, so, as long as you have iTunes installed, you can access the up-to-date list there.
Along with the colleges and universities, they also have other organizations offering educational podcasts in the "Beyond the Campus" area.
My only reason to offer this particular update is to direct readers to the latest addition to iTunes U. Now there are K-12 offerings too. I'm very happy to see that New Jersey has the dominant presence in that category as of now!
These links will only open if you have the free iTunes software installed on your computer which will allow you to view, play or download content.
Friday, June 6. 2008
Update: Version 5 view earlier versions
Apple has now added universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia to the iTunes U list of schools now offering content. iTunes U now has more than 60 colleges around the world (mostly in North America) plus other types of educational institutions sharing audio & video through the iTunes U portal.
Since Apple launched the version of the iTunes Music Store with an iTunes U link and listed the original 16 colleges last year (NJIT was one of the initial 16 schools), schools have been slower to join the list.Perhaps that was why they opened up the iTunes U area to "educational" organizations that are not universities this year. You can find those offerings in the "Beyond Campus" area including the NY Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and others.
The updated, unofficial, incomplete list below is of schools that have partnered with Apple, Inc. to use iTunes U.
If you know of another school that has a public presence on iTunes U, please add a link with a comment at the bottom of this entry and I'll add it to the list.
NOTE: These are public sites, not those schools that have podcasts available in the iTunes Music Store, but only as password-protected content for their own students.
I welcome your comments below with the URLs to other schools with public access to iTunes U.
This list was first posted in January 2007 when I worked at NJIT and we launched NJIT on iTunes. Though I am no longer at NJIT or involved in iTunes U, I try to keep up on schools that offer a public face in iTunes U both to see what they are offering and to download materials. Although a lot of content is specific to a school (admissions, sports etc.), there are also public course materials and speakers that have a much broader appeal and real educational value.
Free the knowledge!
Monday, May 12. 2008
As a high school student and undergrad, I was a cineaste and hoped to go to film school. That didn't happen, but I read a lot about film, took film courses and watched a lot of movies anywhere they were showing in New York & New Jersey. I still try to keep up via Netflix and go to the movies just about every week, but the past year, what has really gotten me back into thinking, reading and talking about films has been podcasts.There are a lot of podcasts available about movies, films, and cinema - and, yes, there is a difference.
First up is "The Treatment" with Elvis Mitchell. It's one of a bunch of great podcasts available from KCRW. In Hollywood speak, a treatment is a brief overview of a script that people sometimes use to pitch a movie idea. Mitchell gets big guns into the studio - directors, writers, actors - and they talk widely about film. He's got the background. He was film critic at The New York Times.
It's a professional podcast, as you would expect knowing the host and KCRW. I like that the shows run a comfortable half hour (though when they are really interesting, you wish for an hour).
Next up is Movies 101. It's kind of Ebert & Roeper style (whatever happened to their podcast show?) with three hosts. Bob Glatzer is a film critic and Dan Webster is a Spokane film critic, and Mary Pat Treuthart is a law professor, film buff and Dan's wife. This show also comes out of a public radio (KPBX and KSFC). The shows run under 30 minutes and cover a few films that are in the theaters.
If you want some short (around 5 minutes), insightful reviews of current films, subscribe to the film reviews at KCRW. The reviewer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic from The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern.
"Out of the Past" is a monthly podcast with an academic sound and feel. The hosts, Clute & Edwards, have focused their aim at film noir. They are academics and their analysis is academic. But they don't sound like radio show "hosts" and the show's production is somewhere below pro and above homegrown. The shows run around 30-60 minutes.
The mix of films is diverse. You'd expect films like The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and such - maybe not immediately Blade Runner, It's A Wonderful Life or Batman Begins. Good stuff.
The podcasts from the Film Forum in New York City. This one takes me back. A long time ago I used to attend film showings at the Film Forum. These podcasts vary widely. Some are just a brief intro to the film being shown (Coming Home introduced by producer Jerome Hellman or Mary Beth Hurt's odd 5 minute intro to Woody Allen's Interiors) to great free form film stories (Peter Bogdanovich intros his Targets with a tribute to Boris Karloff; Isabella Rossellini on Blue Velvet).
Watching the Directors is a podcast has been going since May 2006 and has 40+ episodes online. This is cool homegrown podcast done by a couple. Joe & Melissa watch lots of movies, have taken some film courses and apparently love making lists. Each show focuses on a director (Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Scorsese, George Lucas, Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Akira Kurosawa...) Some shows also have a companion "Ten Quiz" for that director. Not a whole lot of information on the website about what it's all about, but listen to a few episodes and you'll catch on.
I starting to think of them as this nice couple you know who are really good company at the movies. You watch a movie, then you go out afterwards to get something to eat and have great conversations about what you watched.
They are not pros. That's part of the appeal. Their site says, "Our kids' college fund is going to Netflix." (Unfortunately, the contribution link to PayPal didn't work.) And they also do a podcast called "Watching Theology" that looks at a single film through a theological/philosophical lens.
Many film courses are learning in the dark, but you can join these and listen on a walk in the sun or while you prep the garden for your Jersey tomatoes.
Tuesday, May 6. 2008
Click here for the update to this post.
Since then, they have also opened up the iTunes U area to "educational" organizations that are not universities. You can find podcasts in the "Beyond Campus" area from the NY Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and others.
Though I am no longer at NJIT or involved in iTunes U, I try to keep up on schools that offer a public face in iTunes U both to see what they are offering and to download materials. Although a lot of content is specific to a school (admissions, sports etc.), there are also public course materials and speakers that have a much broader appeal and real educational value.
This list is not official, definitive or complete - but I'll keep at it here until one that is appears.
If you know of a school that has a public presence on iTunes U, please add a link with a comment at the bottom of this entry and I'll add it to the list. NOTE: These are public sites, not those schools that have podcasts available in the iTunes Music Store but only as password-protected content for their own students. Of course, all these sites will require the free iTunes software to access and play or download content.
Free the knowledge!
Monday, February 11. 2008
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:
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.
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