On April 1, in an effort to distribute a variety of campus-generated content, UCLA launched a pilot project on the popular digital media platform.
This article was first published by UCLA Today Online.
By Ajah Singh
iTunes, the popular digital media player application for playing and organizing songs, TV shows, movies, audio books and podcasts, has forged an exciting connection with the UCLA family.
On April 1, in an effort to distribute a variety of campus-generated digital content, UCLA launched a pilot project on iTunes. Called UCLA on iTunes U, it's part of Apple Inc.'s two-year-old collaboration with U.S. universities competing to reach prospective students around the world.
Authorized campus participants — departments, schools and other units — can contribute digital content such as audio, video and PDF files to UCLA on iTunes U. The content, which serves a variety of higher-education as well as community purposes, can then be downloaded by the public and played on computers or portable devices.
The project is akin to the UCLA Common Collaboration and Learning Environment (http://ccle.ucla.edu), which also utilizes a campuswide collaboration model. Of the 20 campus units already on UCLA on iTunes U are the Humanities Division; the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies; and the Anderson School of Management.
"It's another distribution point for promotion, and there are a number of branding opportunities for UCLA organizations and schools," said Rose Rocchio, director of academic applications at UCLA's Office of Information Technology, which, along with the Office of Instructional Development (OID), is sponsoring UCLA on iTunes U.
UCLA plans to make another push to share campus-generated video content through a UCLA Channel on YouTube.com. Similar to UCLA on iTunes U, the site will serve as a portal for millions of YouTube viewers worldwide to access UCLA video content. University Communications hopes to launch the site in the next few months.
Organizers of the new UCLA iTunes channel are encouraging faculty and staff campuswide to add individual lectures, entire courses, coverage of events and other material.
Currently, UCLA on iTunes U — http://itunes.ucla.edu/ — offers everything from course lectures for review, campus events, interviews, guest speakers, foreign language samples and music series. For example, Anderson has posted its "Distinguished Speakers Series" — and former President Bill Clinton's 2007 speech on climate change is one of the top podcasts downloaded by users.
To access UCLA on iTunes U, "all you need is a computer with a fast-enough Internet connection," noted James Williamson, manager of the Teaching Enhancement Center at OID. Users can also subscribe to serial podcasts, enabling each new installment to be automatically downloaded and stored for playback.
UCLA on iTunes U has a user-friendly format: Generic topics are listed on the left, more user-specific ones on the right. Topics run the gamut from athletics, business and campus life to science and technology.
"It's a stark contrast to video games, music and two-minute clips on YouTube, which seem to be all that's available to so many students," said Rocchio. "Students who play all these outer-space video games can now learn about the science behind the games."
UCLA on iTunes U is open to the public. UC is pursuing an agreement with Apple Inc. to add password-protected sites for select users, such as students enrolled in a course that's being podcasted.
OID is offering training to faculty on how to publish content and upload podcasts while conforming to issues of copyright and fair use. To request a site, departments, schools and units can e-mail Rocchio at firstname.lastname@example.org or Williamson at email@example.com.
Any faculty, staff or student representing an organization interested in contributing content to UCLA on iTunes U can attend meetings held Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. in Room 5907 of the Math Science Building.
Published: Tuesday, April 08, 2008
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