KSU takes a bite out of Apple

Kiera Manion-Fischer


Credit: DKS Editors

Students are now able to access university-produced multimedia content through iTunes thanks to a recent agreement between Kent State and Apple Computers.

Kent State has joined iTunes University, or iTunes U, a free hosting service within iTunes where faculty and students can put podcasts online.

David Dalton, executive director of educational technology, is holding a conference Friday to teach faculty how to take advantage of the service.

He said all spots are now filled, but there will be another conference Aug. 10.

Dalton said some Kent State faculty are using the service already. He said there’s “maybe a dozen folks doing podcasts religiously.”

Dalton said there are three kinds of podcasts that can be posted on iTunes: audio, video and what are called “enhanced podcasts,” which work like audio slideshows, with still images and sound.

Students don’t need to own an iPod to listen to podcasts, Dalton said. They can download podcasts for free using iTunes, Apple’s free music program, and they can listen to them on a computer or any MP3 player.

Murali Shanker, associate professor in management and information systems, will participate in a panel discussion on podcasting at the conference.

Shanker posts his lectures in the form of Flash videos on the Web site for his statistics course. He said online content benefits his students because, for a complex subject like statistics, it may be necessary for them to go over the lectures more than once.

Shanker said he’s unsure whether he’ll use iTunes U because he wants to control the format and licensing of his videos. He wants to make sure Apple’s licensing agreement is not too restrictive.

David Fresco, associate professor of psychology, will also be participating in the conference. He said he put all of his lectures online last semester and has posted some on iTunes U.

He said the ability to put course content online could free up class time for more interactive work and should not be an incentive for students to skip class.

“Podcast content needs to complement the course material and not take the place of important class time,” Fresco said.

Students can now access the Kent State content by going to itunes.kent.edu and logging in with their Kent State usernames. A Kent State username will soon not be necessary to access all content.

Contact principal reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].