Public iTunes U Sites V4

A year ago, Apple launched a new version of the iTunes Music Store which included an iTunes U link and 16 colleges whose podcasts can be accessed directly from the iTunes application. Happily, NJIT was one of the initial "sweet 16" schools.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.

My updated list of schools below have partnered with Apple, Inc. to use iTunes U. This list was first posted in January 2007 when we launched our own instance of 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.

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.



 




  1. NJIT on iTunes U information & launch page or open directly in iTunes

  2. Bowdoin College

  3. Penn State on iTunes U

  4. Stanford on iTunes U

  5. Duke Digital Initiative - Open Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

  6. Harvard Extension School

  7. University of California at Berkeley

  8. Sacramento State - open in iTunes

  9. Arizona State University

  10. Texas A&M

  11. Ross School of Business at U of Michigan

  12. Santa Monica College

  13. University of California at Berkeley

  14. Queens University (Canada)

  15. Wellesley College

  16. Georgia College and State University

  17. Rollins College

  18. Radford College - open Radford

  19. Gordon College - open Gordon College

  20. Lafayette College

  21. Virginia Tech

  22. Guilford Tech Community College

  23. Concordia Seminary

  24. Otis College of Art & Design

  25. College of William & Mary

  26. Villanova University

  27. Florida Tech

  28. Ohlone College

  29. Texas Tech

  30. Wilkes University

  31. Seattle Pacific University

  32. Abilene Christian University

  33. Reformed Theological Seminary

  34. Southwestern College

  35. University of Michigan

  36. Vanderbilt University

  37. New Mexico State University

  38. Agnes Scott College

  39. Aquinas Institute of Theology

  40. East Tennessee State University

  41. UC - Davis

  42. University of Washington

  43. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee



Free the knowledge!



Click here for another update to this post. 

 


Podcasting Seminars

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.

Their description:

Understand the power of iTunes U. Learn hands-on how you can get started delivering educational content—class lectures, interviews, videos, and other course materials—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:

  1. Initial iTunes U set-up, site activation and preference tracking
  2. iTunes U site planning and templates
  3. Building a transfer script for administrative access
  4. 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.

Public iTunes U Sites Version 2


On May 30, 2007, Apple launched a new version of the iTunes Music Store which included an iTunes U link and 16 colleges whose podcasts can be accessed directly from the iTunes application. Happily, NJIT was one of the initial 16 schools. You can go directly to iTunes U (as long as you have the free iTunes software installed) by clicking this link.


The revised list of schools below have partnered with Apple, Inc. to use iTunes U. This list was first posted in January 2007 when we launched our own instance of NJIT on iTunes.


I have been trying to monitor schools that offer a public face in iTunes U both to see what they are offering and to download materials. The collected group is building a nice collection of public podcasts. Although a lot of content is specific to a school (admissions, sports etc.), there are also public course materials and speakers that have broader appeal and real educational value.


This list is not official, definitive or complete - but I'll keep 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. These are public sites, not those schools that have podcasts available in the iTunes Music Store but only as password-protected content. All these sites will require the free iTunes software to access and play or download content.



  1. NJIT on iTunes U information & launch page or open in iTunes

  2. Bowdoin College

  3. Penn State on iTunes U

  4. Stanford on iTunes U

  5. Duke Digital Initiative - Open Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

  6. Harvard Extension School

  7. University of California at Berkeley

  8. Sacramento State - Open in Itunes

  9. Arizona State University

  10. Texas A&M

  11. Ross School of Business at U of Michigan

  12. Santa Monica College on iTunes U

  13. University of California at Berkeley

  14. Queens University (Canada)

  15. Wellesley College

  16. Georgia College and State University

  17. Rollins College

  18. Radford College - open Radford

  19. Gordon College - open Gordon College

  20. Lafayette College

  21. Virginia Tech

  22. Guilford Tech Community College

  23. Concordia Seminary

  24. Otis College of Art & Design

  25. College of William & Mary

  26. Villanova University

  27. Florida Tech

  28. Ohlone College

  29. Texas Tech

  30. open Wilkes University

  31. Seattle Pacific University

  32. Abilene Christian University

  33. Reformed Theological Seminary


James Welsh has also created a wiki of participating schools (which is probably a better idea than this post) at http://itunesu.pbwiki.com/

Is iTunes U For You?


I was talking last week to some colleagues at nearby Seton Hall University about becoming an iTunes U school. It prompted me to add a follow-up here to the webinar I did this month as part of a series on podcasting from Higher Ed Experts.

Ryan testing our pre-launch iTunes U in 2006.
One thing that makes it easier now to get a school administration on board compared to when we started podcasting in 2005 is that people will at least have heard of podcasting.

I did a Google search on "podcast" on 9/28/04 and there were 24 hits. Ten months later (7/28/05) it came up with 13.7 million. In May 2006 I did the search again for a presentation I was preparing - the result was 307 million on "podcast" and "iTunes" yielded 266 million. (Oddly enough - due to different Google algorithms - the numbers are actually lower today.)

Still, I would guess that less than 25% of your staff/admin stakeholders have ever downloaded a podcast. When we started building our own podcasting site in 2006 and applied to Apple to join the brand new iTunes U initiative, very few people on campus knew what we were talking about, and most saw little value in NJIT joining.

There was a Washington Post Magazine article by Jeffrey Selingo (now editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education) entitled "Is iTunes U for You?" that came out this month. He interviewed a lot of people, including several of us from NJIT about their experiences implementing and using iTunes U. (Only one quote from NJIT made the article - and the statistic is wrong.) I came across a blogger that linked to the article, and his favorite line in the article was a quote from A. Frank Mayadas, president of the Sloan Consortium (promoters of online learning), who said of iTunes U, "I'm baffled at what universities get out of this."

Yeah, people are baffled. And suspicious. I'm often asked, "What does Apple get out of this?"

For one, they get free content that drives traffic to their iTunes store. They need lots of content to keep the site fresh. The music/movies/TV portion is always turning out new product. For schools, this is not their primary work. In fact, Apple added other institutions (museums etc.) to the iTunes U section recently to add educational content.

Many people know that the profit for Apple is quite low on selling content - a few pennies for that 99 cent song download - but the content also drives hardware sales.

On the non-profit side, iTunes U is good public relations for Apple in the education area. Apple has always had a stronger user base in schools than in business, so they need to care about that community.

Finally, I truly believe that Apple has a continuing commitment to education.

It's probably more important to ask what schools get from using iTunes U.

You can talk about Apple’s lead in innovation, large share and marketing power bringing much wider attention to your school and its public podcasts. (87% of mp3 players are iPods; 25 million iTunes users and growing. Microsoft's second version of the Zune has a podcasting tool.)

There's the free half a terabyte of space + bandwidth and the iTunes infrastructure (RSS creation, uploading, authentication) which may mean even more to some of the smaller schools. (You can host your content locally too if you prefer.)

Still, there is that anti-Apple crowd out there. Hence, some myths to bust: 1) You don't need an iPod or any mobile device to use a podcast. The majority of people still watch/listen on a computer. That's slowly shifting and at some point we won't think anything of using our smartphone to listen to a news or course podcast. 2) You don't need an Apple Mac to create or use podcasts. Macs have some great podcast tools included (like Garageband) and there some good third party products (I like Profcast) but you can do it all with Windows too. (Lots of software to help including Camtasia and the free open source Audacity for audio podcasts on either a Mac or a Windows machine.) 3) The school controls access to "private" content (basically that's courses) through your authentication system on campus. You pass a token to Apple that allows users access to materials based on their course registration. You do not pass any private information about students to Apple at all. 4) You own your content. Apple doesn't own it. You can put it up and take it down. You can post it in other places. Apple can remove it if they have a reason to - copyright infringement, for example - but they can't repurpose it or sell it. You can see that that many iTunes U schools also put their podcast content in places like YouTube (check out the channel for UC Berkeley) or on their own websites as embedded media without using iTunes. The NJIT homepage always features links to at least 3 podcasts that are available on our iTunes U launch page but that don't require additional software or a download. We also feature other podcasts along with features on students, faculty and programs.

That last point deserves a bit more detail. Copyright is on the school's responsibilities list. Apple will want to know that you have a a digital copyright policy in place, but you enforce it. We always ask content creators (especially teachers) if they want their content made public. Only about a third of our courses are public. Professors are often concerned about their intellectual property, but those of us in instructional technology are often just as concerned about the copyright or IP infringement issues that some courses might generate if they were public - images used, video clips etc. You know, taking the PowerPoint slides that came with your textbook (or the textbook you used last year or got on a preview) and changing some things does not make them your intellectual property. I worked with a prof who had changed the slide template and deleted all the publisher identifications and he actually believed he still had "fair use" on his side if we put them online.

We were happy with our little podcasting initiative in 2005-2006. Our audience was pretty much just the campus community - though anyone who found the site could download since we had no way to authenticate downloads. We also had a staff of just 2 instructional technology people and 3 media staffers who were doing everything in addition to their regular jobs. Podcasting was a "hobby" but with increasing interest, we knew we couldn't continue recording, creating, encoding, uploading, writing XML files for RSS feeds etc. So iTunes U gave us a much-needed support system.

Don't expect Apple to be your podcasting IT department though. You are pretty much on your own with that. There is a good online community in the Apple iTunes U support discussion areas (Thank goodness for Duncan Bernhardt!) There's even a iTunes U Assessment Support Project now.

When we launched our iTunesU site in January 2007, we were delighted with the increased visitors and downloads, but the numbers went up 10 times after we were one of the first schools to be featured by Apple in the iTunes in May 2007 and those numbers have more than doubled since then.

If I wrote a novel, I'd want Oprah to select my book for her show. If you have a podcast, you want it featured in iTunes U.

Podcasting Made Easier


If your school has been considering entering the world of educational podcasting and you're searching for answers and guidance, I have to recommend a 3 webinar series from Higher Ed Experts that will be offered next week. Full disclosure: I'm doing one of the three webinars, so, yes, 1/3 self-promotion.

The series kicks off on November 6 from 1PM-2PM ET with "Podcasting 101: How to record and produce your podcasts with ease." This 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 will share a simple plan to get your institution ready to plan, record, produce and publish its first podcasts in 30 days.

Dennis Miller is the director of marketing and public relations at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and he will focus in webinar #2 on marketing and how podcasts can become powerful tools to engage students and their parents. He will share best practices and good tips to make sure your podcasts find their audience. That's on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 (1PM-2PM ET)

My session is on the 8th in the 1-2 PM time slot - a webinar called "To be or not to be an iTunes U(niversity)?" In this webinar, I'll be focusing on what it takes to join Apple iTunes U (and if you should consider applying to Apple ) and how NJIT planned and implemented our iTunes U program over the past year. I'll also address how 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.