UM set to launch educational iTunes

Whether listening to weekly podcasts from anatomy class or downloading Virgil’s Aeneid, students at 28 different universities are taking advantage of an education-oriented Apple service.

iTunes U, a feature on the iTunes store web site, provides students with presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations, debates, tours and archival footage in the form of MP3 downloads.

Although the University of Miami does not currently offer the service, the university signed an agreement on Jan. 2 to launch iTunes U later this semester, in part due to active pursuit by Student Government.

“We’re taking the classroom experience outside of the four walls of the class,” Student Government President Danny Carvajal said. “I personally see this as the wave of the future. This is one more way to engage students, faculty, and alumni in the school.”

UM’s iTunes U link will consist of two sections – public and private -that each school can personalize.

The private section of UM’s site will include educational content. Students, faculty and alumni will be granted access with their CaneID.

Campus tours, interviews and other promotional information will be posted on the public part of the site, which will be administered by the university’s communications office.

Some universities, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have launched an entirely public site granting access to all of their courses.

UM will keep part of its content private, so only people associated with the university can have total access.

“If someone can get a UM education by using podcasts, that means the education at UM is a failure,” said Bill Vilberg, director of the Instructional Advancement Center.

Nene Kamate may be contacted at