Learn what you can use iTunes U for, and why you would want to use it as a teacher and as a student. Learn about the power of homework hand-in, grade book, notes, and pdf markup and annotation.
- [Instructor] iTunes U is a learning management system that has it's roots in content delivery. That's why you see so many courses in the public iTunes U catalog. For years, this platform has excelled at getting courses out into the world in a broad self-paced way. But, the product also is very good at delivery of content based on other models. If you're an instructor, you can do a lot with iTunes U. As an instructor, you can create courses for use by your students enrolled in a classroom setting where you see them in person.
Instructors can also create courses for public consumption without the need for a teacher's interaction. Courses may be set to run along a prescribed schedule, but may also be set to an open schedule, where students may complete the course on their own timeline. I've chosen to teach this course from the perspective of a hybrid approach where the course is being delivered over the internet, but that it's also private, which will allow us to show off some of the really cool collaboration features that are new to iTunes U.
In setting up a course, an instructor has several tools available. Among the first you'll do, is set up a profile for yourself so students can read something about you and see your picture to better recognize you. You will of course want to set up a course overview, and the structure and high level view of your course is an outline. Once that is done, you'll have the shell of your course constructed, and you could leave it there, you can simply use the system as a way to keep track of your course syllabus, but you can also add your own files as materials, or references, like iBooks, iOS apps, remember iTunes U is an iOS only application, so you're going to be using iOS apps, and a wealth of content available in the various iTunes stores.
If your course is private, you'll also be able to use the discussions feature, opening up convenient collaboration possibilities in the same app the students are using to receive course materials. Another great private course feature is the ability to have students turn in homework directly within iTunes U, and you can do all of your course grading there as well. There's a roster to manage enrollment, and a grade book to help track all of your student's course assignments, progress, and to track their grades. If you collaborate with other instructors, you can add as many as five other Apple Ids as contributors to your course.
Many large universities ask that you use their iTunes U publishing team's Apple ID as a contributor so that they can gain access to your course to provide oversight, maybe some editing, and publishing assistance services in some cases. Your university or participating high school will have it's own process for you to follow if your building a course you wish to be published as a part of a registered course catalog in the iTunes U catalog. You must be an affiliated instructor to publish courses as part of a university course catalog.
An affiliated instructor is someone at a K-12 school district, college, or university whose institution has a sight in the iTunes U catalog. That person must be added as a contributor to the sight by the iTunes U public sight manager administrator for your institution. Affiliated instructors can access iTunes U to create, design, and distribute public or private courses. iTunes U provides unlimited storage space for affiliated instructors in contrast to the 20 gigabytes available to a standard instructor account.
When you're ready to share your course as a standard instructor, you just send your students an enrollment code for them to enter into iTunes U on their iOS devices. For instructors affiliated with educational institutions, you can also send the course link to your iTunes U public site manager administrator who can publish the course to your institutions iTunes U site and make your course available publicly in the iTunes U catalog. In a nutshell, that's the entire process. Each step of the way, how you accomplish these things is anything but clear, it's my goal to take the confusion out of this process, so you can get straight to saving time using these tools to do what you do best, teach.
- Installing and setting up iTunes U
- Creating and defining your course
- Importing course materials
- Enrolling students in your course
- Inviting course contributors
- Interacting with students
- Reviewing and grading assignments