The Educational Value of Podcasting: October 4-22, 2006

Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 8
Thanks to the helpful folks at SFU's Academic Computing Services department (thanks Mike Stanger!) we have a space set up for this seminar in iTunesU. Here's the guest login information if you're interested in playing around:

http://www.sfu.ca/cgi-bin/itunesu
ID: scopeseminar
password: scopeseminar

It was a snap to set up, and I like the way it is organized in iTunes -- course show up in iTunes window, and downloads from SFU become a playlist. But then I've been using iTunes for a long time so the organization of content and behaviours made sense to me. Although the labels take some adjustment!
  • Artist = Simon Fraser Univeristy
  • Genre = Simon Fraser University (right along with jazz, folk, blues mixed)
  • Album = SCoPE Seminar Discussions (gone platinum! cool)
  • Price = Download
Anyway, it was fun playing around, but in the end all you have is an easy way to distibute content. I started a pros and cons list, and a few things I'm wondering about as a way to get my head into how I would use iTunesU in my own teaching. My conclusion at this point is that the ease of distribution of content isn't worth much if it is difficult to integrate the content into course activities.

Pros:
  • iTunes software is free
  • Easy to transfer to a portable player
  • Students can organize content in a way that suits them
  • Course space can be set up for sharing, so students can upload content
  • You can upload more than just podcasts
Cons:
  • Lack of context for content (For example, I added an article by Susan Manning but I don't seem to have a way to provide a proper reference, or to add other information, or link to it for that matter)
  • Labels may be confusing for students
  • You can't upload all file formats. For example .rtf doesn't seem to be supported.
  • All iTunesU course content (PDF files, podcasts) end up the music library in iTunes at the user level. There may be a way to change this at the admin level.
Things I wonder about:
  • How can the content be integrated into a discussion? (I couldn't find a way to copy a URL for a single artefact)
  • How can you add links to other podcasts without having to download and upload to iTunesU?
  • What would be the best way to reuse content from one semester to the next?


In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Joyce Paisley -
Sylvia
I just learned about Scopes Seminar from Tappedin. I'm a Computer Resource Coordinator in a middle school in Burlington NC. As we prepare our students for the state computer skills test new technologies such as podcasts, blogs and wikis must be included. Being inexperienced I'm looking for as many resources as I can find to bring to my teachers. I was excited about the seminar being accessible in iTunes but I cannot get the guest login to work. :-(
In reply to Joyce Paisley

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Sylvia Currie -
Welcome, Joyce! First of all, it's interesting to learn that podcasts are included in your state computer skills test. Gosh, I imagine a few teachers are scrambling at this point!

I may need to troubleshoot the itunesu login with you via chat or email. I'll send you email to get that started.

Anyone else having problems accessing SFU iTunesU using the guest login? There are a couple things I should mention:
1. You need to have iTunes installed (free download from apple.com)
2. all lower case



In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Nancy Riffer -
I was able to get right into SFU iTunes.  I had previously downloaded itunes.  Now I have to figure out how to use iTt. (My first MP3 player came in the mail yesterday).
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Heather Ross -
Sylvia,

I've downloaded podcasts from some of the iTunes U schools (Stanford and Berkeley) as I've mentioned other places in this seminar. They've allowed me the opportunity to "study" courses on my own time.

I think that we need to get the learners podcasting. Why limit your iTunes set-up to instructors and others of "authority"? If you currently have students facilitating online text-based discussions, why not get them podasting?

Also, if you want to get real discussion going around podcasts there is a new tool that I just stumbled across - http://www.innertoob.com/

I wonder if you could use this with iTunes U.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Richard Smith -
I am a big fan of iTunesU - it has a number of features to recommend it and I am using it for my course (CMNS 253) at SFU.

When I was setting it up the system administrator (Mike Stanger - brilliant guy) mentioned that it was possible to have students "drop" things in just as I do. I haven't asked him to enable that, but presumably it is possible.

I agree with some of the concerns - especially the nomenclature ("Song" doesn't seem quite right for my 2hr lectures), but I suspect those things won't be hard to fix.

The benefit - using a tool that students already have at hand and know how to use - is a big one.

The upload/file management interface, considering that this is a v.1 product, is so elegant and simple you wonder how people like WebCT could get it SO wrong even after I don't know how many versions. I guess that is one of the things apple is famous for, but I was quite surprised to see someone do file uploads through the web THAT much better.

I've actually created a little screencast of the process of uploading things to the iTunesU, from a professor's perspective. It is a little "breathless", but if anyone is interested I can provide the link. I put it outside iTunesU, since that - for me - is limited to students in my class.

...r
In reply to Richard Smith

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Sylvia Currie -
I've set up our SCoPE iTunesU space so that anyone can add resources to any area (area = tabs). There is an option for a "student drop box", which is essentially a space where all students have access to upload, but any area can be set up with those privileges. It's nice and flexible that way.

Richard, I want to hear your "breathless" screencast on uploading to iTunesU! :-) How about uploading it to SCoPE in iTunesU? I'll gather resources into our Wiki too so those who aren't tinkering with iTunesU have access to everything.
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Richard Smith -
I can't seem to get into the SCoPE part of iTunesU - I think because I have a login for my own courses it keeps bumping me in there rather than to the scope version.

Anyway, here is the download link, and perhaps you could place it into iTunesU for me:

http://arago.cprost.sfu.ca/~smith/usingprofcastandelive.mp4

...r
In reply to Richard Smith

Re: Our SCoPE seminar at iTunesU

by Sylvia Currie -
I added your mp4 file to the SCoPE seminar in iTunesU, Richard. Twice, I think! I'll fix it later because I'm on the road and grabbing internet access when I can.

When troubleshooting with Joyce we discovered that you need to close down your browser and open it again to log in with a new username.