Autumn 2008

Schoolhouse Rock

Emory joins Apple’s iTunes U

Emory on iTunes U

itunes.emory.edu

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By Paige P. Parvin 96G

From its flashy marketing to its lightning delivery, Apple’s iTunes store has revolutionized the way many of us think about music. The company has expanded the program’s offerings to educational content—and Emory will be among the universities with a virtual doorway on the site.

Last summer Emory received a contract from Apple inviting the institution to participate in the iTunes U initiative, which aims to provide higher education institutions with a hosted repository for distributing digital content both on campus and off. iTunes U was initially piloted at six schools: Brown, Duke, the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The underlying premise was simple: given the enormous number of users of Apple’s iTunes software and the fact that it is already used to manage individual collections of music, video, audiobooks, and podcasts by connecting with Apple’s Music Store, why not expand the universe of content available to include content created at higher education institutions? Such offerings might include digital recordings of classes, special lectures, or poetry readings.

The iTunes U portal makes it possible to share digitally captured material across a campus where there are many more compelling events than there are hours to experience them in person. Plugging into the iTunes system, for example, a student might download captured class notes, or a faculty member who cannot attend a key lecture could view it online. A link from the iTunes homepage takes the user to a portal where the offerings might include surgery rounds at Vanderbilt or a lecture on the evolution of the city at MIT.

And now, the best of what Emory has to offer: from the Dalai Lama to Alice Walker, the Mini-Medical School to Cartooning for Peace. Complete with album covers, iTunes U is music to your mind.

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