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NSU enters into agreement with iTunes U

Northeastern State University has entered into a service agreement with iTunes U, the higher education website managed by Apple Inc. which will allow university faculty to upload content for access by students and other universities.

The site includes podcasts, class sessions, lectures and video from universities around the world. Students can access class instruction from their professors or any other iTunes U class, information or recordings.

"You don't need the elaborate computer or video setups in the classroom," said Martin Tadlock, NSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The professor can record a class session with a handheld device and upload it. You can record from your computer desktop. At iTunes U, all that information is easily accessible to students. It also can be made accessible to anyone on the planet."

Tadlock said access to iTunes U is a valuable learning option for NSU, which has a mostly non-traditional student body.

"This will allow more flexibility for professors and students, especially when we have a lot of students who are working," he said. "Their lives are busy and they cannot come to class in a regularly scheduled pattern. This is another route for faculty to put that information out there. Plus it joins the whole world-wide movement of making information accessible and open and free."

Access to iTunes U is one of several tools NSU is implementing to maximize teaching and communication options for faculty and students. Others include:

SmarThinking – an online 24-hour tutoring service offering assistance to students in academic subjects.

MAP Works – a program using surveys to identify students who may need additional academic or social assistance to achieve success in college.

Banner Digital Campus – an administrative suite of systems including student information, financial aid, budgetary and human resources.

DARS – the Degree Audit Reporting System which allows students and the university to track their academic progress toward a degree.

Open Courseware Consortium – an international agreement between universities which agree to put submitted courses online for free viewing globally.

"The future is hand-held individual technology and access to information through technology," said Tadlock. "Students carry it around and use it every day. They use their hand-held devices to get e-mail, to text, to download pictures and upload videos, even to go to class. The more flexibility we have in facilitating this, the more access to information and knowledge our students will have."

Published: 10/7/2010 9:49:16 AM

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