iTunes U not ready yet

Alessandro Roco

Apple Inc.’s iTunes University program was originally scheduled to be available by the time classes started. However, the release of the initiative program will now be targeted for after fall break, according Joan Lesovitz, the director of the Center for Instructional Technologies.

The reason for the delay, Lesovitz said, is due to the fact that “we are awaiting final scripting from Apple which will allow us to proceed with public and private authentication to the site.”

Once Instructional Technologies receives the final script for the program, it will actively advertise the program and recruit faculty members to begin incorporating iTunes U into their class curricula.

Lesovitz hopes that Apple will be able to finalize the script and send it to her before fall break. This will allow Instructional Technologies to train faculty members over fall break in the hopes that the interested faculty will be able to podcast lectures when students come back.

Though no specific faculty members have been targeted for iTunes U, Lesovitz said that the program is intended for all disciplines university-wide.

The University has done much to prepare for the arrival of iTunes U. Over the past few months, Instructional Technologies has been sponsoring events for faculty members of Villanova and other universities in order to discuss technology and relevant educational advantages and concerns.

However, Jennifer Pohlhaus, a resource analyst for the University, said that while the University has done much for the program itself, “it’s the students that have been at the forefront of iTunes University. It’s their drive along with the faculty’s dedication to help students that will make the program a success.”

While an end goal for iTunes U is to videocast lectures so that students can actually view classroom lectures, the primary goal is to get the audio stream up and running, Lesovitz said.

Lesovitz said the iTunes U program is a way for Instructional Technologies to show that they are “always looking for new technologies that can be used to enhance the educational experience.”

iTunes U is an initiative program started by Apple to help create a more accessible learning experience. iTunes U gives University faculty another medium through which they can distribute course materials on a 24/7 basis.

Another positive aspect of iTunes U is its ease and cost. According to its website, iTunes U allows professors to “easily post and change content on their own without impacting the IT department.”

Also, with Apple compiling the script, the University saves production costs by not having to devote more resources to the project.

“All we really have to do is take care of the recording materials, which for each professor, will amount to about $50 for a portable recording device,” Lesovitz said. “So really, there aren’t any added expenses for the University.”

For more information on the iTunes program and what it will bring to the University, go to