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From CUNY Academic Commons

Spring 2008 iTunes U Pilot Project

Introduction

The Queens College community currently exploits a variety of rich media technologies for teaching and learning, yet no centralized knowledge base for best practices exists. In addition, expert technical support for audio and video podcasts, as well as webcasts and other related applications, is not readily available. As a result, our faculty users must resort to investigating these technologies on their own, work that diverts them from pressing academic (teaching or research) duties.

We also lack guidelines for protecting our users—students and faculty—from the potential dangers linked to posting online home-made audio and video, or for safeguarding against the abuse (intentional or not) of existing resources by unwieldy files uploaded to systems not designed for such purposes (the Queens College web server or Blackboard, for example).

Objectives

This pilot project presents a timely opportunity for Queens College to engage with these ambitious endeavors at an institutional level. We can identify at least four central objectives that the pilot project would address:

1. Creating a forum (both virtual and face-to-face) for faculty and technologists on campus to discuss best practices: learn about techniques and tools, share their accomplishments and setbacks, and develop sensible campus-wide policy.
2. Creating and expanding a pool of best practices and teaching paradigms to serve as exemplars for faculty to emulate. These early adopters will be the initial campus cohort that will provide mutual support and information sharing in the segments outlined below.
3. Identifying means for supplying expert technical support for users at all levels of technological prowess—beginner, intermediate, advanced.
4. Identifying means for building upon the existing technology foundation to create the necessary infrastructure to support large-scale deployment of rich media teaching and learning activities; this will involve securing and distributing robust software and hardware (not just computers, but also portable devices for digital playback and recording), and procuring dedicated server space.