Food for Thought: Creating a Course on iTunes U

Via edudemic

I just read this very interesting article on why teachers should create their courses via iTunes U. I know that some of our teachers have created ibooks and other course materials. Would they be willing to make this content free online?

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It sounds as if the main advantage for doing it through iTunes U is this:

With iTunes U, it’s easy to create your own custom courses for the iPad and teach them in your classroom. And the iTunes U app puts all the materials you create for your course— syllabus, videos, apps, iBooks, class assignments, and more—all in one place. Right in the app, your students can play videos or audio lectures, read iBooks, and view presentations. They can also see a list of course assignments, then check them off as they’re completed. One of the best features is that they can take notes within iBooks and on videos and they are all organized in one location within the course. It’s also nice that the course can continue to be changed after it’s been published. Any time you create a new post, students receive a push notification informing them of the


Check out the article, which gives you links to tutorials on how to create your own iTunes course and let me know what you think!

ibook Author – and Other Apple Announcements for Education

Allpe Ed Event logoGuest blogger: Beth Wall

Last week, Apple had an “Educational Event” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  At the event they made 4 major announcements – the overall message of which is that Apple wants iPads in schools and they are supporting it by making it easier to deliver content in the classroom.

IBook 2 bookshelf

Announcement 1
iBooks2 was released. It is an update on iBook 1 and free. It will make books created with Apple’s new iBook format interactive on your mobile device.

This looks pretty much the same as iBook 1, but it has the added feature of being able to deal with the new interactive formatting.  This new formatting is proprietary to Apple, so books made for iBook2 won’t be readable on other ebook readers, however, iBook will still be able to read books in the standard ePub format.

Books made in the new format are STUNNING! Check out this free book:

Cover Art
E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth
Edward O. Wilson, Morgan Ryan & Gael McGill
Category: Life Sciences

Link to iBook Store or iTunes

Announcement 2
iBook Author released for computer for free.  This application give you the tools to create interactive books readable in iBook2.

This is an amazing app. You can create a book like the “Life on Earth”, but for that level of sophistication, you are going to have to hang out with the app for a long time and get to know it well.  For straightforward content it is easy enough to use – a combination of Pages and Keynote.  However, for the “SPLASH”, you need to read the help files and pay attention to detail.

The “Help” files are accessible through the application, but it is a pain to flip back and forth between them. Ideally you could have the instructions as a great visual ebook on your iPad while trying to play with the application.  To date no such book exists, so as a test, I tried to use the Apple “Help” files to create the iPad manual I wish I had. Here is my first attempt:

Not great, but something to work on.  I will post the final version when it is finished.

You can distribute these ibooks through the ibook store, either for sale or free.  All books will be reviewed by Apple.  You can also email them or create a repository and have links to them, but although Apple says you can do it in their instructions, they are very clear that any type of sales of your content must be done through the iBook store.  I can foresee some challenges to Apple in the near future over this restrictive policy.

Announcement 3
Apple has partnered with the 3 major text book publishers in the States (Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) to provide textbooks through Apple iBook store.  May of these text books will be in the ibook interactive format, and all should be $14.99 USD or less.

Unfortunately, this is only in the States!  We can expect that it will get to Canada eventually, but we are still waiting for educational pricing one year after the fact. We have a resident American at the school, so if you want to check out what texts are available and what they look like, ask to look at her iPad.

Announcement 4
The iTunes U  iPad App (also free) – This app is Apple’s shot at a content management system.  They want to provide a tool to allow schools to deliver whole classes though Apple U for free.  The initial push has been for universities, but they are opening up the scope to include K-12 courses.

With the iTunes U app you can download a course, and with it you will get the whole course content, not just video.  Courses are broken down by lecture, you have access to supplementary notes, assignments and links to support documents, and text books. On top of that, you can take your own notes that are stored with the course and can be shared via email or printing.

I had a few problems with the app freezing, and the selection of content flips you into the main iTunes app which was a little bizarre.

Sample course:  Content may not appeal to you, but I needed to find something I would look at.

    iPad and iPhone App Development (Fall 2011)

Apple is definitely after the educational market.

A Selection of Challenges from last week’s workshop!

Well, the internet is down and my world has come to a screeching halt. However, never one to indulge in an idle moment, I thought I would write this post on a good old-fashioned word document and paste it in to my blog when the internet is re-connected and the gears of my world start their incessant grind.
However. What can I talk about that doesn’t need the internet?
Aha! What about a recap of some of the challenges we had in last Thursday’s class? Yes? Okay then.
I still don’t have the complete list, but I can go through the ones people either taught me or I overheard. If your challenge isn’t here, could you please email it to me? I will cover it in subsequent posts!
Screenshots: covered in this previous post but copied here for your convenience
One last thing- I also learned how to do a screen shot on my ipad:
  1. Press the on/off button at the top of the ipad and at the same time press the ipad button in the centre.
  2. Once you pressed the ipad button let go- don’t keep on holding down as it will just power off your ipad.
  3. You should see a flash of white and then the sound of a camera taking a photo.
  4. The photo is then stored in your photos app (that comes with the ipad).

Double-clicking to move quickly between apps:
This came in handy for me when I was preparing the QR code scavenger hunt as I was switching between the QR reader and Safari over and over. Instead of pressing the center button, returning to the home screen and then scrolling to find the app you need, you can simply double click the center button and the open apps will appear on the bottom. It is similar to having tabs open in a web browser.
How to make folders: (also covered in this previous post with images)
As we saw on Thursday, the number of incredible apps can be an embarrassment of riches, especially if you have many on different subjects peppered all over your home screens. Avoid having to scroll through pages and pages of apps looking for one in particular by gathering subject specific apps in one place. Personally, I have grouped them by subject matter. Say you take two science apps: NASA and the body.
1.    Press down on one of the apps you want to collect until it starts to wiggle.
2.    Then drag it on top of another app you want to gather.
3.    This will automatically create a folder
4.     You can now change the name of your folder: just tap the circled X and it will delete the default title. Then you can start typing!
How to move your cursor: 
I covered this in my post about adding eprint to safari,a s it was my huge stumbling block.
1.    Hold you finger down in the location where you would like the cursor.
It works the same if you are in ibooks or in Safari or in any other app
2.    A magnifying glad will appear. Drag it until you are in the spot you need.
3.    Delete, add text, highlight, copy, paste. Do whatever you need to do!
Add to home screen: My favourite!
Do you go visit a certain site frequently? Don’t want to keep having to bring it up on safari?  This is so easy! I did it with what I like to call the language police dictionary- La Grande Dictionnaire terminologique. This is something I consult frequently as the French words are slipping out of my head faster then Greek drachmas from a European bank.
1.    Go to the website you want to add to your home screen (your home screen is the screen you see when you have logged in to your ipad- the one with all the apps on it).
2.    Tap the arrow to the left of the web address.
3.    Tap “add to home screen”.
4.    It will then appear on your home screen.
you can see it now on the last line!
5.    Use the above instructions to move it into a folder.
Itunes U
Annie and Gail made this wonderful handout about itunes U. I have asked them permission to share and they have generously accepted.
iTunes U
Lots of FREE excellent material from leading schools and educational boards (mostly American, but some European & Canadian, too!)
1. By Topic
Open iTunes  app (purple with white music note)
☐ type a subject into white search box in top right
☐ scroll through different types of info (audiobook, albums, podcasts, etc.) until you see iTunes U
☐ click on a episode that relates to what you want to know in order to see a) how much and b) more info
☐ click to download
☐ find episode in your iTunes library under iTunes U
2. By Publishing Organization
Open iTunes  app (purple with white music note)
☐ look at options at bottom of screen
click on iTunes U (second from right)
☐ There are 3 search choices: Universities & Colleges (search by school)
                                                Beyond Campus (search by publishing organization)
                                                K-12 (search by publishing organization)
☐ when you click on one of those 3 choices, you will get an alphabetical list of publishing organizations
☐ click on one of the choices to see what they have produced
☐ when you find an interesting episode,
☐ click on a episode in order to see a) how much and b) more info
☐ click to download
☐ find episode in your iTunes library under iTunes U
How to do an alpha numeric password to lock your ipad:
1.     Go to settingsà General.
2.     Tap Passcode Lock.
3.     Turn the Simple Passcode option off.
4. Tap “Turn Passcode on”.
5.     Type in your passcode.
6.     Tap next.
7.     Re-enter passcode
8.     Tap done.

I am hoping to collect more of the challenges in the following days, but even then- I still have so much content to go over from our workshop. So stay tuned all you ipad folk! More is on the way!