Showing posts with label iTunes U. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iTunes U. Show all posts

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Free Course on Developing iOS 8 Apps

In the past Stanford has offered free online courses on developing iPhone and iPad apps. Their latest offering is a free iTunes U course on developing iOS 8 apps.

Before you get too excited about the course, note that it is not for people who don't have any prior programming experience. The prerequisites for the course require that you have experience with C language and object-oriented programming. If you're up for the challenge, this course could be a good opportunity to learn to develop iOS 8 apps.

H/T to Open Culture

Friday, June 28, 2013

40 Free and Open Course for Learning a New Language

When I was in high school we had the choice of studying Spanish or French to meet our foreign language requirement. I distinctly remember telling my guidance counselor that I wanted to take Japanese. She said that wasn't an option. I took Spanish.

Today, if a student wants to study a language that his or her school doesn't offer, that student can find lots of online options for learning a new language. Open Culture has a long list of places where you can find free online courses for learning a new language. The list covers forty languages including Japanese which I just might study now. The courses listed are a mix of iTunes U courses, YouTube channels, and assorted MOOCs.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Initial Impressions of Apple's New Education Initiatives

You might have heard that today Apple had a big event to launch their new K-12 marketing educational products initiatives. For the sake of full disclosure I will tell you now, that I have not had hands-on experience with Apple's new offerings yet. I hope to have time for that in the next few days. These are my initial impressions based on reading the promotional materials, reading some other blogs, and some short exchanges on Twitter. Remember, these are my initial impressions and I reserve the right to change my mind.

About iBooks Author
iBooks Author is Apple's new free (although it only works on Mac OS X) is the one thing that I'm somewhat excited about using. iBooks Author will allow users to create their own multimedia digital textbooks. The templates that I've seen remind me quite a bit of Apple's Pages program. For the record, I think Pages is fantastic. The limitation of iBooks Author is that you can only publish to and access the finished product through the iBooks app. Audrey Watters has written a nice hands-on with iBooks Author piece that I recommend reading.

If your school is exclusively using Apple hardware and software iBooks Author could be a good authoring tool for you. Of course, you could accomplish the same purpose of having students create multimedia reference materials by using services like Wikispaces and Simple Booklet.

About the new iTunes U
The new iTunes U certainly has the potential to be a good way to distribute course materials to students. I always celebrate when schools, whether K-12 or higher ed, publish their course materials to the public. One of the great things about the modern web is wealth of free information available to almost anyone that can access the Internet.

Once again Apple has created some highly aesthetically-pleasing products, they always do. The technology tools that get me excited are tools that students can use to remix and or create new things. The iBooks Author tool offers that to Mac users.

Other than iBooks Author, my initial impression of the new education offerings from Apple is pretty blah. The iBooks textbooks look very nice and have some interactive elements. But, I can't help but wonder why Apple choose to make the, "iBooks will make kids' backpacks lighter" as their second marketing point. It seems to me that if iBook textbooks are going to "revolutionize" education that something other than "lighter backpacks" would be Apple's second marketing point for iBooks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

10 Common Challenges We'll Face This Fall - Challenge #3: Differentiation

Image Credit: Nickwheeleroz
One of my most popular presentations, the one that I'm most frequently asked to give, is 10 Common Challenges Facing Educators. When giving this presentation I outline challenges that classroom teachers often face and present some resources and strategies for addressing those challenges. In preparation for the new school year I've created a series of blog posts based on my presentation. Today's post is about some of my favorite resources for finding differentiated reference materials.

It was during a classroom viewing of a reel-to-reel movie (yes, I'm just barely old enough to have experienced those an all of their frequently jamming glory) that I realized that I really enjoyed the stories of history. It wasn't until much later after my freshman year of college that I decided to really study history. Fast forward to 2011 and there is 35 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute. The point is, video is a popular and engaging medium. Unfortunately, many schools block all access to YouTube in classrooms. If you find yourself in that situation, here are 47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom.

Podcasts, Open Courses, and Audio Books
No longer is access to the world's most highly regarded scholars limited to those who can afford an Ivy League education. Through iTunes U and other channels like Yale's Open Courses anyone can watch and listen to Ivy League lectures. In many cases the hand-outs and assignments are available to accompany open lectures.

Books Should Be Free provides audio recordings of hundreds of books in the public domain. Recordings hosted on Books Should Be Free are available for online listening or downloading to your computer and or iPod.

Books and Other Reading Materials
One of my favorite resources for expanding my students' reading choices is Google Books. With Google Books I can create and share virtual shelves of books with each of my classes. I typically will do this when giving students a Civil War reading assignment. Our school's library only has about 30 books on the Civil War that are appropriate for the assignment. To offer more reading choices, I search Google Books for books that can be downloaded in their entirety from Google Books.

This year Google added a reading level filter to their search engine, but their rankings of reading material by "basic," "intermediate," and "advanced" makes you wishing for a little more refinement. For more refinement of search results according to reading level give Twurdy a try.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More GeoGebra Tutorials for Beginners

On Monday I highlighted some tutorials for beginning GeoGebra users. Since that time I've learned about a few more good sources of GeoGebra tutorials.

Becky Ranks commented on Monday's post with the reminder that the Maine Department of Education has twenty-three GeoGebra video tutorials available in iTunes U. You can find those tutorials here.

Colleen Young also commented on Monday's post with a link to some of her tutorial resources including this Live Binder of resources.

I've mentioned Guillermo Bautista's work before, but it's worth sharing again as he has a good collection of tutorials that he's created on his Mathematics and Multimedia blog.

If you have other good GeoGebra resources to share, please leave a comment and I'll update this post with your suggestions.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 Ways to Access Khan Academy Without YouTube

Khan Academy now has has more than 1800 mathematics and science tutorial videos online. There are even some videos covering topics in the humanities now too. While Khan Academy is best known as a YouTube Channel, there are other ways to access the Khan Academy content. Khan Academy can be accessed through iTunes U. Khan Academy can be watched and downloaded on Curriki. Finally, Khan Academy can be downloaded onto a flash drive for viewing on any computer.

Thanks to Miguel Guhlin for the tips about Curriki and the flashdrive download. Thanks to Open Culture for the iTunes tip.

Applications for Education
If you've always wanted to use some Khan Academy videos in your classroom, but couldn't because YouTube is blocked in your school, try one of the three methods listed above to bring that great content into your lessons. Khan Academy is a great reference source for teachers and students. Students can find all kinds of helpful mathematics and science videos to use when they get stuck on a problem or concept and can't get in touch with their teachers.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom
Hundreds of Reviewed Online Mathematics Resources
Downloading Videos for Use In the Classroom

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mix Your Own NPR Podcast

NPR has offered their "mix your own podcast" service for quite a while now, but I hadn't revisted since its launch until today. I was searching for content to add to the side bar of my new teaching website,, when I thought that instead of specifying particular podcasts and videos for my students, I would provide them with links to places where they can find academic and intellectual material on their own. Therefore the side bar of my new teaching website contains links to NPR's mix your own podcast, YouTube EDU, iTunes University, and TED Talks.

NPR's mix your own podcast service allows anyone to create their own unique collection of podcasts from NPR's library of thousands of podcasts. To use NPR's mix your own podcast service simply visit the page, name your podcast, select keywords and content, and then subscribe to your new custom podcast.

Applications for Education
Students can use NPR's mix your own podcast service to create a podcast that is both interesting to them and informative. You could also create a podcast of content related to your course and link it up to your classroom blog or website.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
New Podcast About SMART Boards
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts
30+ Alternatives to YouTube

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yale Open Courses Added to iTunes

Last week I posted a link to Open Culture's collection of free college courses and lectures available in audio and video. Yesterday, Open Culture updated that collection to include fifteen free open courses from Yale. You can also find the Yale Open Courses on Yale's website or on iTunes U. Speaking of iTunes U, I forgot to mention in last week's post that iTunes U is another great place to find free university-produced content.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
100 Awesome Open Courses
Academic Earth - Videos of Top Scholars Teaching

Friday, April 17, 2009

Learn to Build an iPhone App

Stanford University produces some great, free, online content in a wide array of areas. In the past I've shared some links to Stanford courses and Stanford's iTunes U collection. The latest free offering from Stanford teaches you how to build an iPhone App. The course lectures can be viewed on iTunes U and the course notes and handouts are available as pdf files from the course website.

Applications for Education
This course is not for beginners, but if you have some advanced computer science students, using this course and building an iPhone App could be a very engaging project for them. At my school all seniors have to complete a large independent project prior to graduation, building an iPhone App might be something that one of the students in the computer science program might want to try.

Here are three other Stanford iTunes U courses that may be of interest to you:
Free US History Course from Stanford
Understanding Einstein
The Geography of US Elections

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Understanding Einstein

Open Culture brings us another great opportunity to learn from Stanford professors online. Stanford is posting on YouTube and iTunes Leonard Susskind's lectures from his fall course about Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The course is part of a larger sequence of continuing education courses titled Understanding Modern Physics. The first lecture in the series is now posted and the others are scheduled to follow on a weekly basis. You can subscribe to the YouTube playlist to get all of the lectures in sequence. I've embedded below the first lecture from Dr. Susskind's fall course.

Applications for Education
This course, just as with most courses in Open Culture's collection of free online courses, is a good opportunity for college bound high school students to get a good preview of the type of material they will see in college. Theses courses also provide good supplementary materials for advanced placement courses as well as home school curriculum.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Learn a Language Through Open University

iTunes can be a great place to find free education resources. Earlier this week I found a couple of good mathematics podcasts and today, through Teaching and Learning Spanish, I learned about Open University's foreign language learning programs on iTunes University. Open University has podcasts available to help students learn beginner's level Spanish, French, Welsh, Italian, and German. These are short podcasts designed to supplement regular course work.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned above these podcasts aren't designed as stand-alone courses, but they would be good supplementary materials for foreign language teaching.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Old School Meets New School on iTunes U

This morning while reading Open Culture I was reminded of some free resources that are great for personal learning. Open Culture pointed out that the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford offer good collections of free audio and video podcasts. The episodes can be found on each university's website or on iTunes U. In total there are 136 colleges and universities that offer audio and video podcasts on iTunes U.

Another place to find universities sharing lectures and courses online is through YouTube's education channels. Finding educational material from universities on YouTube does require sifting through some garbage, but if you're willing to do that you can find some good stuff like the Penn State, Harvard, and Stanford YouTube channels.

Applications for Education
iTunes U and YouTube's university channels offer some good resources for personal learning both for you and for your students. If you're a high school teacher and have students that are interested in learning more about a particular topic, consider referring them to iTunes U. Most students are familiar with iTunes, but they might not know about iTunes U. And remember, you don't have to have an iPod to access podcasts.