iTunes December 2, 2011

Access educational videos, audio books and black line masters through the resources posted through iTunes University. No tablet device needed, if you have iTunes installed you can download these resources.

It may seem like a cop out to pick an app this week that is part of the core package of the iOS device; however, the way you use iTunes makes all the difference! Also this week, if you don’t have an iOS device it doesn’t matter. iTunes runs on MAC or PC, so you can access all the iTunes University resources from your laptop or desk computer.
I chose to focus on iTunes University because of a section that was brought to my attention by an Ashland Middle School teacher, Carly Bartemus.  I’ve used iTunes University to go after the Ohio resources in the past. If you search for the word ‘Ohio’, iTunes University will narrow down to the Ohio providers such as ITSCO, Western Reserve Public Media, Ohio State University and the list goes on. Carly pointed out how to access Lit2Go, which is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. This collection of children’s literature is a part of the Educational Technology Clearninghouse and is funded by various grants. Lit2Go offers their full list of books in alphabetical order on their website and it is searchable by:
  • Author
  • Title
  • Reading Level
  • Subject Matter (African-American Literature, Florida, Mathematics, Science)
Their database is completely searchable by keyword also. The website may not list all the titles that you can find through iTunes so keep that in mind. (200 audio books are listed through iTunes University)
What books will you find? Here’s a few titles that I found of interest:
Counting and Math Rhymes for Children
Lyrics of Love and Laughter by Paul Laurence Dunbar (I have an original hard copy of this at home)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poems of Emily Pronte
The Velveteen Rabbit
David Copperfield
The Works of Edgar Allen Poe
A Tale of Two Cities
Whether you plan to use these audio recordings to listen with your whole class, or offer these recordings to support special needs students who struggle with reading, you will certainly find a book worth listening to.
Next time you launch iTunes, type the keyword ‘Lit2Go’ in the search field. Whether you are on a mobile device, or something else, be sure to narrow down your search to only the results from iTunes University. Lit2Go focuses on stories and poems. iTunes University also offers foreign language recordings, history, Art & Design, and is searcheable by:
Universities & Colleges
And Beyond Campus (noteables such as: KHAN Academy, Edutopia, ideastream, Library of Congress, MOMA, NASA, National Geographic, PRI, Smithsonian,)

All media from iTunes is downloaded to your computer (look for it in your iTunes library)on to your iOS device (look in videos or iPod a.k.a.Music). After choosing a file and reviewing it for class you won’t need wireless to watch the videos you downloaded. Sometimes finding the files you downloaded is the hardest part. You need to specify that you want to view the files you downloaded from iTunesU so the right files appear.One last positive note for those who have an iPad 1. You can project videos from iTunes through a VGA adaptor so the entire class can watch a video, or plug into a set of computer speakers so everyone can listen to a recording.

So, if your school doesn’t have access to YouTube, or a subscription to United Streaming, take a look at iTunes University for Educational videos. I can’t imagine visiting iTunes University and not finding a resource you can use in your classroom, or a book worth listening to from Lit2Go (even if it’s just for yourself). In fact, I DARE YOU to search iTunesU. If you come up empty handed let me know!

I would like to send out a special thanks to Carly for pointing out this valuable resource. If you have an app worth noting e-mail the PD team at TCCSA. If you want to know more about apps like iTunes register for the App Grab class at TCCSA on December 14th.