updated 06:00 pm EDT, Thu July 27, 2006
iTunes U picks up steam
As iPod usage continues to rise, many educational institutions are turning to Apple's iTunes U course management system to make content freely available to the public. Duke University has released a report on the school's Duke Digital Initiative (DDI), choosing to continue the program. "Given the interest in technology innovation expressed by students and faculty and the now established uses of portable, personal digital media devices in courses, the university will continue the Duke Digital Initiative in the 2006-07 academic year," the report said.
Duke will not, however, continue to dole out free iPods to students signing up for the courses that use them. Each iPod with a microphone will instead be subsidized, available to students signing up for the corresponding courses for $99.
"We will continue to support academic use of iPods, but will position the iPod as a course supply, much like a textbook."
iTunes U a hit
Numerous Universities have seen potential in Apple's iTunes U service, following Stanford's lead when the school joined the program in October of 2005 with publicly available podcasts. The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in mid-March of 2006 teamed up with Apple to provide free access to events, seminars, and news content via podcasts.
UC Berkeley joined iTunes U in April of this year, offering free audio and video course lecture recordings to students, faculty, and the general public. Oregon State University also came forward in April, saying that it was close to inking a deal with Apple which would allow the school to disperse pocasts of lectures as well as other material.