iTunes U Information
This year I’m experimenting with using iTunes U in the classroom. iTunes U has been around for a few years as a section in iTunes offering lecture videos and other materials created by educators (mostly university level).
In February 2012 Apple expanded the scope of iTunes U and created an app (available for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads) that has great potential.
What is the iTunes U app?
- Visit the official iTunes U promotional page at apple to read about what the app and course manager can do.
What doesn’t the iTunes U app and course manager do?
- iTunes U is not an all-encompassing class management system. You can’t do grades, collect assignments, or conduct a dialogue with students. It is simply a tool to communicate information and content to students on their iOS devices (iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads).
- Note: iTunes U is only available on iOS devices- iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.
How is this any better than just using a website to communicate information?
- The most important benefit is that the iTunes U app does not need a persistent internet connection. Updates are pushed to a student’s device whenever that device has an internet connection. Materials must be downloaded manually, but once on the device, they can be accessed even when there is no network connection. An amazing number of my students have iPod Touches (available since 2007, refurbished first gen models go for $119 at Game Stop) and download the course materials and updates when they are able to connect to a network; when they come to class they are able to use the app without the internet.
- Another benefit: This app is tailor made for communicating classroom content and materials in a way that few website templates are able to.
Why use this?
- That’s a really good question. Until LAUSD implements a 1:1 mobile program (handing out tablets to every student in the district) I consider the use of a tool like iTunes U an experiment.
- Driving the Classroom with iTunes U – (February 2012) Educator Frasier Speirs led the first 1:1 implementation of ipads at Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, Scotland, and has written extensively on the experience. This article is a comprehensive look at the iTunes U app written when it was introduced in February of 2012.
- What’s New in iTunes U – (July 2012) Additional commentary by Speirs on improvements made to iTunes U in July 2012.
If you’re interested in experimenting with iTunes U yourself visit: Getting Started with iTunes U
If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and you would like to subscribe to one of my classes, go here and follow the instructions.
Getting Started with iTunes U
LAUSD teachers can request access to the LAUSD iTunes U portal to create content that students can access through the iTunes U app for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. Learn about the iTunes U app here.
Jairo E. Tzunun
Business Efficiency Analyst
LAUSD iTunes U Course Manager:
- To use iTunes U Course Manager (CM) you will need an Apple ID. This is the email address & password associated with your iTunes account and the App store. You can create a seperate Apple ID associated with your lausd.net email if you want to keep it independent from your personal Apple ID.
- Contact Jairo and let him know that you are a teacher from Reed MS interested in using iTunes U CM. Give him your Apple ID email address (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask to be added to the CM Portal.
- After you get the email confirming that your ID has been added you can go to https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/coursemanager/and login with your Apple ID and password.
- Note: System Requirements
- Safari 5.1.+ on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), or Mountain Lion (10.8) *
- Safari 5.1.+ on Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
- Note on using CM on Apple computers: A point of frustration for me is the iTunes U CM operating system requirements for macs. While the documentation suggests that you can use almost any vintage of windows OS going back to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (released in 2004), as long as you’re running Safari for windows, the requirements for using CM on a mac are much more strict. I was entirely unable to run CM in Safari on my Macbook Pro running OS 10.5 (Leopard, released in 2007). Since many of the Apple computers on campus are too old to run OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (released in 2008) or newer, those machines are locked out of using CM. If you have any questions about the vintage of your machine, let me know.
- Note: System Requirements
- When you login to CM you will be prompted to create an Instructor Profile. Have a small image (300×300) handy to use as your profile picture. More information on this step here.
- After you create a profile you will be prompted to create a course. There are two types of courses: Self Paced Courses and In Session Courses. In Session will probably be the type that we use most often. More information on this step here.
- For more information on iTunes U Course Manager check out: