Instructional Design and eTeaching Services - Boston College

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WHAT IS ITUNES U AND WHAT IS PODCASTING?

Podcasts are online multimedia files which are available for downloading to a computer  iPad, iPod or iPhone. You start by downloading to iTunes and then sync or transfer to your mobile device if you want to. You can also just watch or listen on your computer.

Four Types of Podcasts

  1. Audio podcasts are audio only.
  2. Video podcast is a term used for the online delivery of video content. Any video could be a podcast.
  3. Enhanced podcasts are a somewhat unique type of podcast that combine audio podcast with synced images, similar to a narrated slideshow.
  4. A Screencast is a recording of your computer screen, usually accompanied by narration or other audio content.

Podcasts are distinguished from other types of course-related media (such as Lecture Capture) in two ways. You can subscribe to a podcast so that it automatically syncs to your iPad, iPod or iPhone and they are downloaded rather than streamed, so the material can be accessed without being connected to the internet.

Creating a podcast requires software, a microphone and possibly a webcam. Once you’ve created your podcast, you can upload it to iTunes U using a web-browser. Please contact us if you’d like recommendations regarding what to purchase and/or assistance in getting set up to start podcasting on iTunes U.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO THE STUDENT?

The advantages are very similar to those of Lecture Capture. Faculty are able to create lecture recordings in the form of podcasts and make them available through iTunes U. Students can log into iTunes U and access these materials from a computer or mobile device.  This provides access to the course content at the convenience of the student. Once downloaded, there is no further need for internet access to view or listen to the material. For any of the reasons that students need/want to review in-class material, podcasting to iTunes U is an alternative to lecture capture. The main difference is the ability to view the material without an internet connection.

WHAT DO I NEED TO VIEW BC PODCASTS?

  1. You have to be enrolled in a course where the professor has put content on iTunes U.
  2. You must have the iTunes software installed on your PC or Mac.
  3. You would then access iTunes U through the Agora Portal, just as you do to get to many of your other BC services.
  4. Once you select the iTunes U link on Agora, you will see a list of the courses to which you have access. If you get an empty page, this means that your instructor is not using iTunes U.
  5. You would select the course that you are enrolled in and download the files of interest to your computer, where you can watch them later (or copy them to your mobile device).

HOW DO I GET ITUNES ON MY COMPUTER?

ITUNES IS ON MY COMPUTER ALREADY, WILL IT WORK?

When you open iTunes, it will check to see if you have the latest version. It’s always best to keep iTunes up to date.

DO I NEED AN IPOD TO LISTEN TO OR WATCH PODCASTS?

No. In fact, many students use iTunes to watch the podcasts on their own computer and keep them there for reference.

IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR AM EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS ACCESSING PODCAST MATERIAL, WHERE DO I GO?

Please contact us at: eteach@bc.edu with  any questions, issues or feedback.