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|What is iTunes U?||It's an Apple® program that allows instructors to distribute audio and video files over the internet. Instructors can post clips containing course content, recorded lectures, and related instructional materials.
iTunes U is a version of iTunes adapted specifically for higher ed. Like iTunes, it can also be used to manage media files, subscribe to podcasting services, or purchase media products from Apple's online store. A single iTunes client program can be used for both personal and educational purposes. If your students have access to iTunes, they can access your material.
|What kinds of media can be distributed in iTunes U?|
|What hardware and software is required to use iTunes U?||Hardware: To produce original material for iTunes U you will need appropriate AV recording and editing equipment, provided by some departments. Multimedia Services can also provide access to some equipment – it depends on your needs.
Software: All you need is a standard browser on either a Mac or a PC, and a current installation of the free iTunes client app.
|Is the use of Apple hardware required?||No. iTunes is available for both Mac and PC. Although Apple's iPod media player has been designed for use with iTunes, iTunes downloads can be stored on any portable device capable of handling the iTunes U media formats, including various MP3 players, smartphones, and other handhelds.|
|Can access to iTunes U materials be restricted?||Yes. Although sections of RU's iTunes U site can be set up for general public access, the service also lets you restrict access to students enrolled in the class.|
|Does iTunes U replace Blackboard?||No. Blackboard is a full-service online instructional environment, while iTunes U is specifically designed for the distribution of media files, with some automation and convenience not available in Blackboard.
The two products can be configured to work together. For example, instructors can build links within Blackboard to items in iTunes U, presenting to the student an integrated bundle of services.
|What options do I have when setting up an iTunes U course?||Once the local iTunes U Administrator creates a new course area, you can configure it to meet the course needs. You can create subject-specific tabs for different types of materials, or for different sections of the class, etc. You may also modify access rights to the various sections of the course, and let students upload their own media files to selected areas to share with their fellow students.|
|How do I get started using iTunes U?||ITS is seeking instructors who are interested in helping us test this service. Faculty members interested in trying out iTunes U in their courses should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.|
|What are the benefits of iTunes U from the student's perspective?||iTunes U is a convenient way for students to manage classroom multimedia materials, because they can download files to desktops, laptops, iPods and many other MP3 players and smartphones.
A key feature of iTunes U is support for podcasting, which is a media distribution process that automates the delivery of new content. By configuring their iTunes software to support podcasting and selecting the "subscribe" option in iTunes U for a particular class, new material is automatically downloaded to the student as soon as it is made available by the instructor.
|Where do I get more information about iTunes U?||More info and documentation about iTunes U is available on Apple's web site at: http://www.apple.com/support/itunes_u/. Also, several universities have made portions of their sites available to the general public. Browsing through these pages may give you an idea of some of the ways iTunes can be used to support instruction and other university activities. You will need iTunes installed on your computer to view these pages.|