Posts Tagged ‘iTunes U’

Answers to Four Questions about iTunes U

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

In this screencast, David Wicks addresses four common questions faculty have about iTunes U. The questions are:

  1. What is iTunes U?
  2. How do you access iTunes U?
  3. What resources can be found on iTunes U?
  4. How can iTunes U be used in your instruction?

Link to this video on iTune U

What’s the Story with Mobile Learning in Edu and at SPU?

In a recent post I wrote about eBooks being one of six emerging educational technologies to keep an eye on in the near future. Continuing with that theme, I would like to share about the current status of mobile learning or m-learning in higher education and at Seattle Pacific University. The 2011 Horizon Report predicted that mobile learning will move towards mainstream adoption during the 2011-12 academic year.

In this post, I will:

  1. Define mobile learning.
  2. Describe how it can be used in higher education learning.
  3. Share examples of how Seattle Pacific University professors are using m-learning with their students.
  4. Share an upcoming opportunity for SPU faculty to discover more about how mobile learning can be used with their students.

What is mobile learning?

Mobile Learning or m-learning definitions fall into one of two camps, tech-centric or learner-centric. Traxler (2005, p. 262) defined m-learning as “any educational provision where the sole or dominant technologies are handheld or palmtop devices.” This definition clearly focuses on the technology being used rather than the learning that takes place. Learner-centric definitions emphasize the location of the learner –anywhere, and the timing of the learning activity –anytime (O’Malley et al., 2003). I choose the second definition to stay centered on learning and keep “the tail from wagging the dog.”

How is mobile learning being used in higher education?

Quinn (2011) shares Four C’s of Mobile that can help educators stay focused on appropriate uses of this educational technology. First, mobile devices can be a great way to access learning Content. Students can watch videos, listen to lectures, and even read articles or books on their mobile devices. SPU’s iTunes U site was recently optimized for iPhone and iPad use. Second, mobile devices are great tools for Capturing content. Students can use their phones to take pictures, as well as record audio and video, all which can be used to document evidence of their knowledge and skills in a course. Third, students can use mobile devices to Calculate. Instead of purchasing and lugging around a separate calculator, students can buy a scientific calculator app for less than a dollar that is available wherever they carry their smart phone. Great computational apps like Wolfram Alpha can be useful for finding and sharing statistical data during classroom discussions. Fourth, mobile devices can be used to Communicate with others. Students can send emails, texts, and use voice and video technologies to interact with their peers and professors. The Four C’s promote anywhere, anytime learning, allowing students to engage in learning activities in places where they might not be carrying their textbook or have access to a computer.

How is m-learning being used at SPU?

Seattle Pacific University professors are experimenting with mobile technologies in both face-to-face and virtual settings. One example is from Assistant Professor of Economics, Geri Mason, who has students answer a higher-level question at the beginning of a class using cell phones as a personal response devices or clickers. She uses PollEverywhere to survey students, having them text answers to an online database where they display on the projector screen as they are submitted. Once all students have participated, she has them break into small groups and discuss their answers. When finished, she calls on students to defend a position from one of the responses. Professor Mason also uses this technology for short quizzes, taking attendance, and gathering feedback on data collection assignments. She has harnessed what many would consider to be a disruptive technology and uses it for active learning.

Education Professor Andrew Lumpe has recently experimented with Blackboard Mobile Learn on his iPad. Blackboard Mobile Learn is a native mobile app version of Blackboard available on Apple mobile devices, as well as Android, Blackberrry, and WebOS (formerly Palm) smart phones. He has used it to participate in discussions with students in an online graduate course. Professor Lumpe gives the app mixed reviews for now. He likes how easy it is to navigate around the course on the iPad. He also likes how discussion forums are graphically represented. However, he does not like that the Control Panel is unavailable to make changes to the course and wishes there was a feature to receive notifications when new discussion posts are made. For now professors and students may prefer to use the browser version of Blackboard on their mobile devices.

Are you interested in learning more about m-learning?

Instructional Technology Services will be hosting a workshop on mobile learning on June 15, 2011 at 2 PM in the Library Instructional Lab. Professor Mason will share about her experiences with PollEverywhere and I will share highlights from an invited presentation I recently gave in Syracuse, New York at the SUNY Online Learning Summit.

Photo Credit: Dominic Williamson, Senior Graphic Artist, Instructional Technology Services

iTunes U now supports ePub documents

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

This video demonstrates how you can download free ePub eBooks on your iPad. The eBooks can be read using the iBooks app.

Recommended Martin Luther King Day To-Do List for SPU Faculty

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I sent the following message to Seattle Pacific University faculty in hopes that they will submit a grant application to me by Monday night:

Suggested To Do List for Monday, January 18, 2010
  1. Wake up.
  2. Have some coffee and breakfast.
  3. Download and listen to several of the Martin Luther King lectures from SPU’s iTunes U collection (27 possible choices dating back as far as 1975).
  4. Read the just-released 2010 Horizon Report to become informed about emerging technologies predicted to have an impact on teaching and learning in higher education within the next five years.
  5. Complete your online application for the 2010 Teaching and Technology Grant and submit it by midnight. Keep in mind that CIS sent out a message saying that SPU Internet access may not be available between 6-10 PM on Monday because of an upgrade.
  6. Go to bed.
(Note: If you finish your grant application earlier in the day there may be time for other activities, including other meals or teaching your night class.)

Favorite Open Educational Resources

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve been using free educational resources in my presentations for a few years.  Several professors have asked me for a list of Open Educational Resources (OER) that I have shared in various workshops. Here is a list of ten of my current favorites:

  1. – Search engine that can be used to find free images on the web.
  2. Incompetech is a collection of Creative Commons licensed music.
  3. iTunes U is a collection of audio and video content from higher education faculty around the world that can be freely used for educational purposes. Many SPU professors are freely sharing their work in iTunes U. You can find it at:
  4. Khan Academy provides 800+ YouTube tutorials covering math, science, and finance problems.
  5. MERLOT is a peer-reviewed searchable collection of online learning materials.
  6. Search by Creative Commons provides a convenient way to access search engines that include CC licensed materials.
  7. Webcast.Berkeley is a collection of podcasts and webcasts from the University of California Berkeley.
  8. Wikimedia Commons is a media repository for public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips).
  9. YouTube EDU is a collection of videos and channels from higher education institutions
  10. MIT OpenCourseware is a website that contains almost all content from MIT courses.

Can podcasts replace the professor?

March 11, 2009 Leave a comment

iTunes U and the classroom: Can podcasts replace Professors? pdf_18x18

This study compared the test results of students who listened to a lecture in class with students who listened to a podcast of the lecture. Both groups had access to a PowerPoint presentation used by the lecturer.  The mean test score of those listening to the podcast were higher. The researchers attribute this to the students’ ability to pause and replay. Also, students who took notes while listening to the podcasts scored significantly higher than their in-class counter-parts. 

Does this mean we can replace professors or eliminate face-to-face lectures?  No, the study only provides evidence that students may learn declaritive content better when they have the ability to control playback.  It doesn’t account for the student-to-professor or student-to-student interaction that may take place during a face-to-face lecture.  

The study does help  justify the hard work of professors like Ben McFarland who record lectures and make them available to students on Seattle Pacific University’s  iTunes U site. Podcasting is a lot of work.  Therefore, if we truly believe students benefit from podcasts we need to find ways to make podcasting easier to do.  SPU is now using Camtasia Relay to make content-casting easier.  Professors can record both audio and what is on the computer display with only a few clicks.  Profiles are then used to determine where the content is posted after the lecture is completed. 

(delicious tags: podcasting podcast itunes_u lectures lecturecapture contentcapture contentcasting Techsmith)

How was digital video used in Higher Education during 2008?

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This article highlights some of the ways web video was used by higher education during 2008. The Texas A & M grass roots video project is interesting. I like how they are letting students be creative with a simple rule that video must be in good taste.

(delicious tags: Video YouTube grassroots_video higher_education iTunes)

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