UC Davis recently became one of many universities across the nation to participate in Apple‘s iTunes U program. iTunes U allows college campuses to share multimedia podcasts through the popular iTunes software. This new tool can be beneficial to students, faculty and prospective students alike.
Podcasting is not new to UC Davis. A handful of professors have been podcasting their lectures for the past several years. Many departments such as IET-Mediaworks, University Communications and KDVS 90.3 FM have podcasts on their own websites. The only setback was the accessibility and visibility of the content for students.
With the introduction of iTunes U, podcasts from various sources can now be organized and distributed in a highly visible and popular media outlet. This tool can be used for much more than distributing class lectures. Academic departments and student groups can take advantage of iTunes U to showcase their work to the masses.
The performance arts departments are one group of many that could benefit greatly by publishing podcasts. This could give prospective applicants interested in the arts and music department a taste of what UC Davis has to offer. Other events including the Last Lecture series, student performances and the Mondavi Center‘s Distinguished Speakers series have potential to be popular podcasts. Students and faculty can also upload their own independently produced films or music.
However, one possible speed bump when it comes to publishing material online involves ensuring copyright compliance. Administrators have resolved this by requiring a comprehensive series of requirements before any material goes public. This includes obtaining copyright clearances and the signed consent of those featured in the recording.
This project is still young, and podcasting is still relatively new. The administration is clearly pushing this trend forward. Over 15 lecture halls have now been upgraded with permanent digital recorders to optimize podcasting resources. Students and faculty alike are highly encouraged to make use of these new resources and to bring out the full potential that iTunes U has to offer.