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Elizabeth Van Gordon

Christine Fitzpatrick

Last modified: Friday, December 22, 2006

IU podcasts to be available through Apple’s iTunes U service

December 22, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has signed an agreement with Apple Computer, Inc. to make online content available through iTunes U. This service, to be available during spring semester 2007, will allow students and others to easily subscribe to and download podcasts of audio, video and graphic content to their iPods and other supported portable devices or personal computers for listening or viewing anytime and anywhere.

"This agreement provides another way to distribute IU content 24 hours a day and 7 days a week," said Elizabeth Van Gordon of University Information Technology Services (UITS). "With this agreement signed, we're now ready to develop the interface and the tools that will enable faculty and departments to distribute podcasts world-wide via iTunes U."

Through this agreement, IU will join the University of Michigan, Stanford, and Berkeley as early adopters of iTunes U.

The agreement complements other initiatives at Indiana University designed to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and "wired" population of learners. The Sakai podcasting tool became available to all IU faculty in August 2006 as part of the university's online course management system, Oncourse. UITS is also working with IU Creative Services to release an Indiana University podcasting portal in spring 2007, which will link to iTunes U. Each of these services will support audiences internal and external to the university.

Alan Dennis, Professor and John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems, Kelley School of Business, is an experienced podcaster, having used the technology to support his S305 Business Telecommunications course throughout 2006. According to Dennis, the student response has been "overwhelmingly positive."

"Students told me that they listened to the podcasts when they missed classes and when they studied for exams. They also used the podcasts when they realized they didn't understand their notes from a class," he said, adding that students could listen to the material again to hear what they had missed the first time. Dennis warned that podcasts do not substitute for classroom experiences, however. "I want my students to be engaged with the topic and to actively think about the issues. Students listening to the podcast might skip over classroom exercises and just listen to my answer, rather than taking time to work through an exercise and think about the issues on their own."

A number of IU schools and departments are currently creating and hosting podcasts, including the Jacobs School of Music, the IU School of Law, the IU Office of Academic Affairs, and the IU School of Education. The IU School of Medicine's weekly "Sound Medicine" program on WFYI and IU's "A Moment of Science," are also available as podcasts.

For more about Apple Computer's iTunes U service, see