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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA now podcasting through iTunes

    John Allen, a psychology professor, talks with students yesterday afternoon. Allen, who started recording his lectures last spring, has been loading them onto iTunes as podcasts for his students to listen to outside of class.
    John Allen, a psychology professor, talks with students yesterday afternoon. Allen, who started recording his lectures last spring, has been loading them onto iTunes as podcasts for his students to listen to outside of class.

    Incubus, Bob Marley and a recording of your physics lecture could all share space on your iPod soon.

    This semester, UA podcasts will be available to students through iTunesU, a service offered by Apple Inc.’s popular music provider.

    iTunesU is a new area of the iTunes music store that provides space for universities to offer recorded lectures and other content on an iPod or computer.

    The UA plans to offer diverse content through iTunesU, including video and audio of courses, events and other podcasts created by faculty, students, departments and programs.

    Twenty schools are prominently listed on the iTunesU, with more than 100 institutions participating, including Duke University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University.

    “”The beauty of being on iTunesU is that it’s an easy-to-find, central site for students and faculty to access,”” said Stuart Glogoff, a senior consultant for the Learning Technologies Center.

    The UA is not new to the podcasting business however, Glogoff said.

    The Learning Technologies Center has been helping instructors use recording devices and other equipment needed to produce podcasts for more than two years.

    John Allen, a psychology professor, strapped an audio recorder on his arm last spring to record an Individuals and Societies 101 class and said making a podcast is fairly easy.

    “”I thought it was very useful for students who wished to review what they’d learn in class,”” Allen wrote in an e-mail. He plans to make video podcasts for a smaller course next semester.

    While Apple’s iTunes software is necessary to view the podcasts, which include audio, video and text, students and faculty do not need an iPod to see content on iTunesU. They may watch or listen on their computers instead.

    “”The potential for doing podcasts is enormous. It’s inexpensive and really reaches an audience,”” Glogoff said.

    These alternative formats of lectures and instructional materials also help students with special needs, Glogoff added.

    One-hundred podcasts already exist on the site, ranging from lecture recordings to campus events to student-produced videos.

    Currently, only a handful of instructors are producing podcasts, while the Learning Technologies Center is creating other podcasts for keynote speeches and special events.

    The UA will have secure content available in the spring, requiring a user to enter login information before they can access it, Glogoff said.

    This will allow professors to post private podcasts that only specific students enrolled in the class will have access to download.

    Similarly, faculty and instructors will be able to create a course homepage on the site, allowing them to manage content created for their classes.

    Through iTunesU, students can upload podcasts to the site in a “”dropbox”” similar to that on d2l.

    Some students believe modernizing the way information is delivered is beneficial.

    “”Seems like a good idea, I would use it,”” said Evan Pellegrino, a journalism junior. “”It’s cool we’re getting with the times.””

    The partnership between the UA and iTunes is possible by an agreement made in May between the university and Apple Inc.

    UA podcasts are available at http://www.itunes.arizona.edu.

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