iTunesU – Free Educational Resources

iTunesU - teacher

With the rapidly escalating pace of technological innovation, it is becoming increasingly important that educational institutions keep up-to-date with ways of connecting students to information wherever they are, whenever they need it, at any time of the day. One of the ways that many universities are now using to provide information which is easily accessible via computers, iphones, ipods and ipads is iTunesU, an area of the Apple iTunes Store that was launched in May 2007, and which is devoted to free educational resources.

iTunes users now have access to over 350,000 audio and video files from educational institutions around the world. Universities and colleges are making information available on events such as lectures, sporting highlights, lab demonstrations, language lessons, and virtual campus tours, in a variety of formats such as slideshows, PDFs, films, exhibit tours and audiobooks.iTunesU - girl In the ‘Beyond Campus’ section of iTunes U, students can also access a wealth of content from places such as MoMA, the New York Public Library and Public Radio International.

An article in the International Business Times in August this year stated that over 300 million downloads have now been recorded from 800 universities which make their content publicly available at  iTunesU.  Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal are just some of the universities using this method of staying in touch with users.

The Top 10 categories of content available are:  business, engineering, fine arts, health and medicine, history, humanities, language, literature, mathematics, science, social science, society, teaching and education.

A study by Heller and Underwood in 2008 looked at whether or not iTunesU helped students’ learning, and they concluded that as long as students take notes on the podcasts, the advantage is that they can use the podcasts to listen a number of times to a lecture, thus picking up concepts they may have missed if they just attend a face-to-face lecture. iTunesU - K-12

In 2008 Apple also released iTunesU – K-12, a space where schools can publish information for their students, searchable and accessible via the iTunes app on their phones. Catholic Network Australia, the Western Australian Department of Education and Learning, Perth PLC and Scotch College in Melbourne have all taken advantage of this format for keeping in touch with their students and wider communities.

With the rapidly escalating pace of technological innovation, it is important that educational institutions  keep up to date with methods of disseminating information to students. One of the ways that many universities are currently looking at is to provide information which is easily accessible viacomputers,  iphones, ipods and ipads from the iTunesU website.

An article in the International Business Times in August this year stated that over 300 million downloads have now been recorded from 800 universities which make their content publicly available at  iTunesU.  Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal are just some of the universities using this methos of staying in touch with users.

iTunes users now have access to ‘over 350,000 audio and video files from educational institutions around the globe’ as well as

iTunesU Intro by psicorcb

Images from:

http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/profiles.html
http://www.ipad.net/ipad-news-class-is-in-session-at-itunes-u.html
http://gigaom.com/apple/itunesu-k12/

First Australian Sexting Prosecution

Sexting (sending nude photos via a mobile phone) is a problem which is occurring at an alarming rate and one which, unfortunately, will only get worse as children are given mobile phones at increasingly younger ages.  Children and teenagers either forget or don’t care that once a photo is out there, they have lost control of it and the consequences may haunt them far into their later lives.

Twenty year old Philip Albert is suffering for exactly that reason – in a moment of anger when he was 17 years old, he sent a naked photo of his 16 year old ex-girlfriend to over 70 people, including her teachers, parents and grandparents.

As a result, “Phillip was arrested for distribution of child pornography, put on five years probation, and required to register on the public sex offender list. He was kicked out of college, can’t find a job, and can’t live with his father because his dad lives too close to a high school. As a registered sex offender, Phillip isn’t allowed to live near a school, playground, or a church. Unless his lawyer is successful in getting to court to take him off the list, he could remain on the registered sex offender list until he’s in his 40s.”  (http://www.safeteens.com/)

The first Australian case of sexting prosecution was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald this morning.

‘DAMIEN ”EZZY” EADES is caught up in legal history but perhaps not in the way he would have liked. The 20-year-old from Sydney’s western suburbs is at the centre of Australia’s first ”sexting” case, after a schoolgirl sent a nude photo of herself to his mobile phone. The maximum penalty he faces is a two-year jail term.’

As educators, we really have a duty of care to make students aware of the potential consequences of their actions, and to teach them to behave responsibly and ethically online, otherwise a simple spur-of-the-moment decision may cost them years of grief.

(Video from ThinkUKnow – a partnership between the Australian Federal Police and Microsoft.  For an accompanying lesson plan, visit http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/megansstory.asp

See other resources on sexting at our BGS Libguide – Watchful, Wary and Wise: Be Smart Online)