Teachers across Texas are gaining a new vehicle for sharing professional-development materials and course information after Gov. Rick Perry recently announced the creation of a Texas Education iTunes U channel.
The channel uses the iTunes U platform, a service within Apple’s iTunes Store that offers free downloads of lectures, lab demos, and even campus tours as audio or video files. It also will include online access to education content from state agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Most iTunes content comes from postsecondary institutions, but Perry, a Republican, expresses confidence that the content pushed into the K-12-geared Texas Education channel will be substantive and sizable. The channel builds on Project Share, a collaborative effort of the Texas Education Association, The New York Times, and the Public Broadcasting Service, which provides a collection of Web 2.0 tools to Texas teachers for professional development. It also follows the 2008 creation of a K-12 iTunes U destination that pulled resources from several state education agencies, as well as the State Education Technology Directors Association. The Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah education agencies have all contributed to that venture.
A version of this article appeared in the October 20, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as Texas Turns iTunes Into a Teaching Tool