While reading the article, 'Is iTunes for You?' by Jeffery Selingo, one statement stuck out to me. As I reflect on my goal and relationship with iTunes you, I ask myself the purpose, "Users don't get credit for the courses they watch. And professors don't get paid extra for the courses on iTunes U. Administrators and professors alike view the idea of giving away courses that traditional students pay thousands of dollars a year for both as a free promotional tool and as a public service." This to me, hit the nail on the head! It puts the fun back in learning and puts the learning in the control of the learner.
The argument on the other hand involves more of an interactive learning environment. To me, iTunes U is not the place for this. This interactivity involves more activity for the 'professor' or 'creator'. I feel there are other sources for this, such as a paid for class or one that is offered to school districts or in a paid for school setting. Since iTunes U is currently a free service, I find it difficult to offer services that must pay for people to maintain. I do feel that interaction and discussion has potential to add more, but I don't find iTunes U the place to do this.
The final article that shares the new option for K-12 teachers to create private courses is a step in the right direction. I do, however, see the alternatives that Canyons School District is pursuing. Canyons has produced several iTunes U courses and I personally have created one. I designed my course to be a follow-up to a course that teachers can refer to after they have competed the course in person. If feel that as our district provides many opportunity for free professional development; teachers can participate in courses that are offered online, in person and in their school environment for credit and that iTunes U, since it is a very public entity, should be reserved for self motivated learning.
Podcasting in iTunes U is a great supplement to in class learning. I loved the idea that the professor in Wisconsin posts his lectures daily so students can listen and refer back to them.
Arizona State University uses iTunes U to also supplement their instruction by including videos, lessons, podcast and Ask a Biologist. I love this independent idea for an additional resource for the learners.
As I watched the video by Jeff Robbin on the iTunes U app, I saw how other universities use iTunes U. I saw the many of hte courses had a book to supplement the course. When it comes to certain courses, I see this is a great tool to go with courses. I do feel however, that not all courses follow a text book outline. Many hands on courses rely heavily on other components and lower level learning directed to the learners.
Power Search was new to me. I liked the three search tools available to search amongst. I think this would be beneficial when you are doing a search of a very specific topic