Disclaimer: I realize that we don’t need an iPod to utilize and organize educational content in iTunes. However, since iTunes is made to work with an iPod and since this results in the two working very well together, let’s look at the educational value of iTunes within the umbrella of using iPods in education. As a directory for media content, iTunes allows for easy search and organization of various types of multimedia content.
Firstly, lets look at some obvious uses of iTunes in education:
Podcasts – podcasts are all free and are produced by a number of different content providers from large media companies such as Discovery Networks to interested individuals to students in many different subject areas.
iTunesU – Accessing university lectures is no longer as expensive as it used to be. Many universities are now offering recording of lectures to their students and to the wider global community free of charge.
Secondly, let’s look at some not so obvious uses:
Biographies – Good biographical content of individuals from both past and present are available in iTunes. True, the biographies are currently restricted to music artists but a music teacher/student clicking on the “Biography” link is provided with good quality biographical information about that artist.
Add Text to Audio Tracks – right-clicking on any sound file allows assess to edit an audio track’s information and one of the editable options is lyrics. Placing text in the lyrics field allows the teacher to add text to their audio files so that students can read and listen at the same time.
Organzie PDFs – Remember that iTunes is a directory with the ability to organize files into libraries and playlists. That also includes PDFs! You can organize your PDFs by categories in the same way you organize music – using playlists. You can use your current library and create a smart playlists for your PDFs or create a PDF specific library. Use iTunes to organize your files and never search for PDFs on your computer again. For more detailed information on how to set this up, check out this Lifehacker article.
Sync iTunes with Mp3 Player – Don’t have an iPod and want to use iTunes to organize your audio files and sync with you Mp3 player? Try iTunes Sync