I am astounded people take my blog as marginally credible, or more so that they read it, so it takes me back when people attach some importance or meaning to what is really my own meandering streams of thoughts and complaints (or more properly termed as my Kiwi friends say, “whinges“).
So yes, back in March, before I left Maricopa, I wrote some sharp whinging about Apple’s iTunesU. As it turns out, people mistook my intent as a whinge about the technology or concept, when my major whinge was a combination of wanting to raise interest at Maricopa in what I saw as a great service for us, not being able to get a high level leader out in front to help drive it, and having no info I could share with my colleges– just ad copy posted months ago and a link to Stanford. So I whinged, and got a slew of email backwash asking me why I hated Apple so much, which is silly since I have been a zealot since 1987, through a lot of years at Maricopa where administrative software pushed people into Windows boxes.
Yeah, I whinged, but I am thinking I need a disclaimer in 200 point font- “I am just mouthing off sarcastically, so question every word I post.”
But I did get to see a very abbreviated demo of iTunes U at the NMC Summer Conference, and the demos from Berkley opened up more clearly about how it works. And yes, Virginia, there are things to like- institutional customizable tabs, ability for students to post content, for instructors to define access to content, everything is linkable, and there is access to get the real RSS feed that was not there in March.
And I fully was in the positive (Or so I thought) about the value of this at Maricopa, where I know of many faculty that lack access to the server space to do media casting at any capacity. A free place to hang media is a good thing. Institutions still have to deal with their legal departments on the aspects of sharing content (I heard from a number of schools where this is the hold up in the process) and what needs to be done to manage user access and integration with organizational identity management.
But the little I did see showed Apple was delivering on the promise of the blurbs posted back in January, and in fact, I am eager to set up a presence there for NMC. So Itunes, You Are Okay, or “U-R-O-K” for those that are fans of William Steig.