Giving Apple to the teachers

The College is beginning to look into iTunes U, an interactive platform similar to iTunes Store which allows colleges and universities to post information, podcasts, lectures and presentations, according to Matthew Golden, director of Communications and Media Relations.

“I have had very informal discussions with a few people on campus about the platform and what it offers, but we don’t even know how we could use it yet,” Golden said. “We need to examine copyright laws before we make that assessment and we have not done so yet.”

A statement on says, “Just like the iTunes Store, the popularity of iTunes U has exploded. Already, more than half of the nation’s top 500 schools use it to distribute their digital content to students – or to the world. Any school can open all or part of its site to the public, from alumni to parents to anyone with a love of learning.”

The College is currently examining how iTunes U could be used here.

“SGA (Student Government Association) approached us last spring and they wanted to provide podcasts to the campus,” Matt Winkel, communications officer for Web and New Media, said. “I went out to research all the universities that are around our size to see if it’s feasible for a college of about 5,000 students to use iTunes U.”

Along with SGA, the department of Music and the New Library are interested in using iTunes U. The Music Department would use the platform to post performances and the New Library would post digital music reserves for students, according to Winkel.

There are certain issues that need to be looked into before a final decision is made regarding iTunes U. How students and faculty can post copyrighted content is a major concern. The technical aspect of getting the College onto iTunes U must also be cleared up.

“We’re hoping to look at all these issues and get it up by early spring,” Winkel said.

iTunes U, which can be accessed directly from the iTunes Store, would give students and faculty another channel for audio content at the College. For example, the School of Business is interested in posting interview and job search topics. Students will also be encouraged to post content, Winkel said.

The New Library will be working with the College on how to organize the College’s possible iTunes U page, according to Winkel.

The College joining iTunes U will not have any significant costs to the College due to the fact that iTunes is free. There will be no hardware or software costs, according to Winkel.