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CSULB podcasts available with iTunes U

Scotty+Vicario%2C+a+senior+business+finance+major%2C+listens+to+his+iPod+while+walking+to+class+yesterday+afternoon.++Regarding+his+stance+on+putting+lectures+on+podcast%2C+Vicario+is+in+favor%2C+stating+that+it+is+beneficial+for+him+because+he+has+two+jobs
Scotty Vicario, a senior business finance major, listens to his iPod while walking to class yesterday afternoon.  Regarding his stance on putting lectures on podcast, Vicario is in favor, stating that it is beneficial for him because he has two jobs

Scotty Vicario, a senior business finance major, listens to his iPod while walking to class yesterday afternoon. Regarding his stance on putting lectures on podcast, Vicario is in favor, stating that it is beneficial for him because he has two jobs

Chay Chhuon

Chay Chhuon

Scotty Vicario, a senior business finance major, listens to his iPod while walking to class yesterday afternoon. Regarding his stance on putting lectures on podcast, Vicario is in favor, stating that it is beneficial for him because he has two jobs

Antoinette Luzano, Staff Writer

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People all over the world will soon be able to learn through Cal State Long Beach for free as part of iTunes U.

“ITunes U is a collection of podcasts that are affiliated with the university,” said Leslie Kennedy, director of Instructional Technology Support Services (ITSS).

ITunes U, a section of Apple Inc.’s media player store, compiles all of the podcasts from a university into one place, Kennedy said. She said CSULB joined the service in attempt to “enhance instruction.”

There are currently more than 50 video and audio podcasts available from CSULB, including files from the University Art Museum, ITSS, and the music, chemistry and art departments, according to Kennedy. There are also “enhanced podcasts,” which are slides of photographs and other visuals accompanied by audio, Kennedy said.

The podcasts cannot be accessed from iTunes’ university directory yet because Apple policies prohibit their release until CSULB submits at least 100 podcasts, Kennedy said, and CSULB is having a “soft roll-out.” Some podcasts are available via the search bar in the iTunes Store by entering CSULB. Other CSULB-related podcasts will show in the results as well.

Though the podcasts cannot be downloaded through the iTunes Store, they can be accessed from http://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browsev2/csulb.edu, just as long as iTunes is installed on the computer being used.

CSULB has been collecting the current podcasts for about a year and a half, though they haven’t been actively searching for podcast submissions, Kennedy said. She said she expects the university to have enough podcasts for the directory by summer or fall.

Kennedy said the use of iTunes U in professors’ courses is optional, though some may choose to upload their lectures.

“They could be supplemental,” Kennedy said. “They could help the students prepare for class.”

ITunes U also complies with California State University’s Accessible Technology Initiative, which ensures that technology used in education is accessible to disabled students.

According to Kennedy, podcasts come with transcripts when they are downloaded. The ATI cites captions on videos as an example for improving accessibility.

Kennedy said CSULB is working to create an iTunes website at http://itunes.csulb.edu, which will include a link that launches the iTunes application and loads the CSULB podcast page.

Podcasts can also be hosted at other websites. Beachboard will be able to provide access to podcasts when the ANGEL learning management system replaces BlackBoard in 2010. Podcasts can also be played on iPods or CDs.

CSULB’s podcasts are currently being submitted to iTunes by ITSS, but “the ultimate goal is that students [and faculty] will be able to upload podcasts as well,” Kennedy said. The podcasts are reviewed for content and have to be related to education, but campus life and news are not excluded.

“If I miss a class I’ll have it to get more information instead of depending on other people,” said Susan Ma, a freshman pre-nursing major.

Other students plan on using iTunes U for enrichment as well.

“I used iTunes University [yesterday], as a matter of fact,” said John Maierhofer, a graduate statistics major who views video podcasts about linear algebra from MIT.

According to the Apple website, more than 100,000 audio and video files are currently available on iTunes U. Participating schools include Pepperdine University, San Jose State University and UCLA. People do not have to be students at the colleges to download the podcasts.

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