Yesterday I posted what I thought was an original idea to use the iTunes store to provide access to library multimedia collections. I’m embarrassed. Apple is way ahead of me on this.
Apple announced back on May 30, 2007 their hosted iTunes U portal. The concept, which started at Duke University, is that universities and other institutions of learning could post courseware for students to enhance their collegiate learning experience. All content would be free without digital rights management. The Disruptive Library Technology Jester at OhioLINK immediately grasped the potential and power of using iTunes as a delivery platform to provide access to collections.
ITunes U has since expanded to include museums, historical societies, PBS stations, state education agencies, and yes, libraries. iTunes U now includes bundles of free multimedia and textual content including lectures, podcasts, instructional guides, oral histories, presentations, and performances.
Go to iTunes U (this link opens your iTunes program). Once the iTunes store appears look down the left side click on the links to “Providers.”
Libraries in iTunes U now include:
University of Hawai’i at Manoa Sinclair Library
Entry page: http://www.hawaii.edu/itunesu/
UH public iTunes U (opens iTunes)
These institutions use Apple templates and then incorporate their own branding and browse/search integration. Institutions can elect to keep their content internally password protected to allow access only to their own members. They can make it public. Some like the University of Utah libraries and the University of Hawaii provide both internal content to students and external public content.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be many collections from Utah institutions except for The University of Utah and UEN’s Utah Electronic High School. The EHS collection is of interest to me as the State Documents Librarian because they’ve loaded a number of Utah State publications. These include PDF training guides and a video by the Utah State Office of Education’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program and the Parents Empowered television and radio public service messages from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
iTunes provides a powerful way to view and share these messages. As Apple says, it’s a simple as “Click, sync, learn.”
We can certainly do more.
Let’s learn how to capitalize on what has already been done in Utah and organize further efforts to offer more Utah library content in iTunes U. Some of those who have been involved with developing these iTunes U stores include:
- Dan Sinema, Senior Systems Engineer, Apple Computer Education Division
- Terry Stone, Higher Ed Account Executive, Apple Computer
- Paul E. Burrows, Manager, New Media Integration, KUED Media Solutions, University of Utah
- Joseph F. Buchanan, Technology Assisted Curriculum Center, University of Utah
- Pat Lambrose, Technology Facilitator, Salt Lake City School District
Do others of you have an interest in developing a Utah portal or library collections within iTunes U? How shall we proceed?
Here are some resources for those who want to learn more:
ITunes U Resources
- iTunes U Introduction
- Video introduction
- Apply to ITunes U
- Support site
- Administrator Guide (online ; pdf)
- User’s Guide
- Creating Your iTunes U Site (video ; pdf)
- Promoting Your iTunes U Site (pdf)
- Supported formats
- Discussion forums
Please comment below or email me directly if you have an interest.