Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Power of iTunes U

When I first posted about iTunes U, I was pretty unsure of how it all worked and how it would fit into my classroom.  Six months later and I cannot imagine teaching without it!  My entire course is set up all in one place for my learners.

My course was original set up in January and I made it public sometime in February.  Today, I have over 110,000 people subscribed to it.  I get emails all the time from people around the world asking questions about the content or if I can offer a certification once they complete my course.  When that many people are looking at your course, it really makes you think about what content you are throwing out there...but in a good way.  The students in my classroom became editors and helped find content, apps, websites, etc. to help with particular topics. They developed a great level of ownership in their iTunes course.

I have also been contacted by several educators asking about different labs or activities I was doing -- some people had great suggestions on how to extend the lesson or how to connect globally and collaborate.  We were able to Skype with a school in New Zealand (we are in Texas) about a blog challenge my class was doing regarding health and diet.  It has opened up so many doors for my students to reach outside of our classroom walls.

My class is now developing a course in iTunes U called Health Without Borders.  This course has my students creating lessons and inquiry based science activities for students around the world. What better way to learn than to teach someone else?  The content is student determined, student developed, and student delivered.  They choose -- their ideas and their lessons....

So far, their course has almost 30,000 subscribers and we have been contacted from students in the Ukraine, Cambodia, and China to name a few.  Mobile learning and iTunes U makes amazing things happen in the classroom.

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