User-Generated Content in Education/iTunesU
What is iTunes University? 
iTunes U is an app for the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The app allows access to free courses that are taught by instructors in schools and universities. Students are able to view their assignments, and check them off on the screen as they complete each assignment. Course materials are accessed through the mobile device and can be downloaded. iTunes U is similar to iBooks in layout and organization. Users can search the catalog for the courses they want, and subcribe to the classes. Courses that users subscribe to appear in their library. Users are able to input notes directly to their class. Educators can use iTunes U to upload their own courses to the app, and can include any notes, lectures, and assignments they wish to give to their students. Links can be provided to other apps that will help with the class, such as graphing calculators. iTunes U was designed to allow anyone with a mobile device easy access to continuing education.
On May 30, 2007 at Cupertino, California iTunes U was officially announced. The purpose of iTunes U was to create, distribute, manage and control access to educational material consisting of video, PDF files and audio files for students. Institutions who wish to contribute to iTunes U are given their own iTunes U site that uses the Apple's iTunes Store infrastructure. This service is free to the user. Users may edit their sites by using an editing tool, the Woolamaloo Automator. This tool was created by Apple to permit users not familiar with XML tools to be able to make changes to their site.
The most important thing about iTunes is that many of the resources are provided for no cost, allowing virtually anyone the opportunity for continued learning on many topics of interest. More than 800 universities have active iTunes U sites. About half of these institutions — including Stanford, Yale, MIT Open Courseware, Oxfordand UC Berkeley — distribute their content publicly on the iTunes Store. The Open University in the UK set the record for the most downloads as of October 3rd, 2011 having reached 40 million downloads.
iTunes allows anyone to view lectures and video from the universities and institutions that participate. While there is some content that is blocked, the majority of the resources are for anyone. K-12 schools have found many ways to integrate the resource by providing professional resources on things like Special Education resources. File:An iTunes Gift Card2.jpg
Participants include individuals and universities worldwide who may customize their iTunes site to fit their particular needs. Participants of iTunes U are able to limit the access to their sites to a specific set of viewers or individuals.
Access to iTunes U may be gained through Apple’s iTunes store, just click the iTunes tab located at the top of the store page. To access specific colleges or universities the Universities & College section must be visited. The “Beyond Campus” sections allows to user to visit other institutions.
Course materials and more
Lectures are not the only benefit, iTunes U supports the PDF and ePub file format and can be used to distribute materials to students wirelessly to their e-readers, phones or computers. Other resources may be found in iTunes U. These include access to museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and libraries such as The Library of Congress. These resources and others may be found on the Beyond Campus page in iTunes U.
Additional iTunes University topics include art and architecture, business, communications & media, engineering, health & medicine, history, language, law & politics, literature, mathematics, philosophy, psychology & social sciences, religion & spirituality, science, society, and teaching & learning. There are lectures and courses for every age group from early elementary to college. When searching in a k-12 environment the main page has courses from various high schools from across the United States and even other countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Students studying a foreign language can find a course from a different country to actually apply the language they are learning to a real life environment.
The Weekly Education Spotlight Education Spotlight can be used by educators and students to find new courses or very popular courses that may be of interest to them. The spotlight can include a variety of features such as the Open University Volcanoes, Lyndon B. Johnson: The Space Age, Foxcroft Academy- English 111 Identity and Society, and CSIS Careers in Global Development. The Education Spotlight also highlights iBooks Textbooks such as The Writer's Voice by Lynne Dozier and Apps for Learning such as Virtual Human Body.
How to Find the Good Stuff
the iTunes advanced search allows you to customize your search. If you are looking for lectures on Ancient Rome, you can
1)click on this link:
2)select iTunes U in the first box
3)type in your search term.
iTunes updates their main page regularly so if there is new content you will find it here. Then, if you find lectures by someone you like, search for other lectures by the same person.
Universities worldwide have a home for their digital content that may be accessed by students anywhere. The materials on iTunes U are easily downloaded and viewed on a number of devices including PC, iPhones, Mac and iPods. Teachers are able to bring the world to their students. They may enhance their lessons by taking students on virtual field trips, attending concerts or lectures whenever it fits their lesson plans. Students may access iTunes U as a reference source or study a concept more in depth.
Through iTunes U a lifelong learning process in encouraged. Schools may use the wealth of knowledge in iTunes U as a budget preserving measure. University lessons may supplement a teacher’s classroom lessons.
Accessible to all students
iTunes provides resources for those with disabilities. For those who are vision impaired, they can use VoiceOver on the Mac and screen readers on PCs. Physically disabled can have the university brought to them allowing them to learn in an environment that is comfortable and with the necessities they require.
iTunes is online source of information that can be accessed by both students and teachers. iTunes U has made many resources available for teachers at any grade level. For example an extensive library of videos, audio lectures and lesson plans can be used for the classroom. After an iTunes account is established the user can create a playlist based on grade level or subject. Resources can be then downloaded into that playlist (Using iTunes in the Classroom, 2012). A search tool is available within the application to find appropriate content. Following a search, the user can then browse the results. The results can be viewed using the preview feature. Following the preview, the user can download the content to the library or move on to the next topic. The library is an easy way to organize and access downloaded materials. Within the library specific tabs can be setup based on the type of material. In addition, the library owner can setup permissions to allow others to share all or some of the materials (iTunes U at Roosevelt University, 2011).
K-12 schools are beginning to integrate the services of iTunes into their curricula and many state departments of education are also using the service. For example, the Georgia Department of Education site has categories for best practice writing, best practice social studies, teaching social studies and special education – significant cognitive disabilities. These resources can be helpful to teachers everywhere.
- Coughlan, S. (2011, October 3). Education and Family. In Open University’s record iTunes U downloads (BBC news). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-15150319
- What is iTunes U? (2011). Let the learning begin (apple). Retrieved October 14, 2011, from http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/what-is.html
- Dara. (2011, August 5). The do it yourself scholar. In Guide to iTunes U. Retrieved October 21, 2011, from http://diyscholar.wordpress.com/guide-to-itunesu/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog
4. Apple Website, Retrieved November 30, 2012 from: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/
5. iTunes U at Roosevelt University. (2011, June). Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Roosevelt University: http://www.roosevelt.edu/ITS/actech/itunesufaq.aspx
6. Using iTunes in the Classroom. (2012, May). Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Arkansas on iTunes U: http://adepodcast.arkansas.gov/docs/QuickStart/Training%20Module-iTunesU-in-the-Classroom.pdf