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iTunes U podcasts

I was browsing the iTunes online store for free goodies and found the new iTunes U, a.k.a., “The Campus that Never Sleeps.” iTunes U is packed with free college- and university-authored audio and video podcasts from that can be played on any PC, Mac, or iPod. You get to iTunes U through the iTunes software, which is also free and PC friendly.

iTunes U currently lists 16 participating universities including ASU, Duke, MIT, Stanford, Texas A&M, and UC Berkeley. The storefront features ‘cast subscriptions for ASU’s Introduction to Exercise Science & Wellness, Stanford’s Geography of World Cultures, Penn State’s Research Unplugged, and Lit2Go: Audio Files for K-12 from USF’s College of Education. There’s even an audio/video course in Elementary Greek from Concordia University, complete with pronunciation help.

I downloaded one audio- and one videocast to check the file format. Audio is encoded in MP3. This is a good thing, as users don’t need an “iPod” to listen on the go… any MP3 player will do. The videocast is MPEG-4, which also plays well with other portable devices that support video.

iTunes U is definitely worth a look, a download, and a link at the reference desk (if your network manager is willing to install iTunes, of course).

I couldn’t find any shirts or mugs, though. Bummer… I’d really like a t-shirt!

4 June 2007 Posted by | innovation, internet, learning, web resources | Leave a comment

we made a toolbar…

…and it looks like this:

toolbar

Hal Kirkwood, Purdue University Instruction Coordinator, shared this toolbar tip at his session, Innovative Tools for Reference Services. The tool bar was built using Conduit’s Community Toolbar creator. And it’s free!

The toolbar was easy to make and very customizable. It will help us get our identity out there and keep us in the faces of surfers who like to use task-specific toolbars. Users will be able to explore our Web site, search our catalog, ask questions, and receive global announcements from the library.

And did I mention that it’s free?

19 April 2007 Posted by | cil2007, innovation, tools | Leave a comment