Two New Tools for Online Education & Training

Inside Higher Ed has a piece on Apple’s iTunesU Course Manager.  The platform makes it ever more easy to create on-line offerings (and charge for them) through iPads.  Joshua Kim describes some of Course Manager’s most compelling features:

  • iTunes U Course Manager is a web-based tool that allows anyone with an Apple ID to create “courses” that can be downloaded and synched to the iTunes U iPad app.
  • Courses are collections of curricular materials that can be organized around a course narrative, with weeks or modules.
  • Curricular content can include documents (pdfs, Office documents), audio and video files.
  • Enrollment in courses can be restricted. The maximum enrollment for an educationally affiliated Apple ID logon (faculty or staff) is 1,000 students per class. Non-affiliated courses can have 50 students. This enrollment option is the new feature for courses, and it is important because for the first time it seems possible to deliver class materials (articles, lectures, etc) in a way that is both easy and preserves copyright and intellectual property protections.
  • Courses are downloaded from the iTunes U app, which is only available on iOS devices. Course material can be updated by course faculty or course builders, and the updates will sync.
  • When students download a course for the iTunes U app on their iPad they can choose to go through and download the course content (documents, images, audio or video files) to their iPad. The documents can then be read in whatever iPad app desired (such as iBooks), and the class videos land in the video folder. This allows offline consumption of content.
  • The courses have additional features, such as “Notes,” which give students the ability for the students to create (and share?) notes around the content.

You can read the full post here.  Meanwhile, Springwise has a post on Incline, a free training resource aimed at helping veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq prepare for jobs in the civilian IT sector:

According to data given by the organization, the tech industry in the US is growing by 30 percent every year, yet thousands of positions are left unfilled due to a dearth of talent. Incline is attempting to help this problem by offering the influx of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan – 220,000 currently, with more to come over the next few years – free tuition which will develop their existing skills and boost their knowledge of web and software development. Each course can be applied for through the Incline website and consists of six weeks of intensive training. The social enterprise works with technology companies looking to hire and encourages them to take advantage of existing tax credits for hiring veteran


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