University expanding reach with iTunes U

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    The university has joined the likes of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Oxford by launching a channel on iTunes U, a program that will keep students, prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni up to date and in touch through a digital media platform, said a new media specialist.

    “Everyone’s using it. It’s a great way for the university to be out there, to promote itself,” said new media specialist Amy Peterson. “Since iTunes U is such a big deal right now in universities, it just made sense for us to have a site also.”

    According to the Apple Web site, universities use the site to share educational media with their students. Museums and public broadcasting stations are making their content available to the world through iTunes U, too.

    On the university’s iTunes site, www.itunesu.tcu.edu, viewers can download free videos from four categories: campus life, academics, featured events and spotlight. The content of the videos ranges from a campus tour to a writing workshop to coverage of the past two Schieffer Symposiums.

    Viewers can also subscribe to whichever sections interest them, such as guest speakers or athletics, and new content will automatically be downloaded into the viewer’s iTunes library, Peterson said.

    Peterson, who runs the site along with a few other officials, said that through iTunes U, it will be possible to post entire speeches or conferences for viewers to download and watch at their leisure.

    She said university officials hope the new site will encourage prospective students.

    “It’s a great way for prospective students to kind of fall in love with the university,” Peterson said.

    Amiso George, an associate professor of journalism, said the new site is a great idea.

    “This is just another really exciting, useful tool for us to use,” George said. “It’s a win-win for all of us.”

    The university is not planning to post class lectures on the site like some other universities are doing. A few key lecturers, like Bob Schieffer, will be posted, Peterson said.

    iTunes U is directly accessible by iPhone or iPod Touch via cellular and WiFi networks through the iTunes store, which makes it easy to check up on the university while on the go.

    Rebecca Maffit, a sophomore elementary education major, said she will definitely be checking out the new site.

    “I think it’s really cool, and it helps keep the student population updated in a new, hip way that’s really relevant to our times,” Maffit said.