Goochland Becomes First VA School Division To Publish Electronic Content On iTunes U Platform

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On January 19, 2012, Apple, Inc. introduced a new initiative with digital textbooks and the evolution of their iTunes U learning platform. Part of this update is a new mobile app called iTunes U which is now being opened to K-12 school districts. Goochland County is the first school district in Virginia to appear in the iTunes U catalog, not to mention one of the first in the world.
All the content in iTunes U is free. Content from Goochland will join already established education partners such as Stanford University, the Virginia Department of Education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and TED Talks. Currently, Goochland is publishing a series of presentations and video screencasts for teachers, our first digital eBooks (in the open ePub format), and soon will be adding student learning artifacts. “Our hope for 2012 is to add our first interactive textbook using the iBooks Authoring application from Apple focused on digital citizenship,” said John Hendron, Goochland’s supervisor for instructional technology. Hendron in 2005 published one of the first education-related podcasts through the iTunes Podcast directory. “There’s a lot of potential on this platform, beyond video and even textbooks,” said Hendron. “I’m personally excited to explore this platform for building courses and sharing curriculum resources.” Any computer with iTunes installed can access the content through iTunes U, in addition to mobile devices from Apple such as iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone.
“We’re excited by the potential for sharing content with our partners across Virginia and the world on iTunes,” said superintendent Dr. Linda Underwood. “In turn, we look forward to taking advantage of other high-quality resources from other school divisions, especially as we embrace mobile technologies in our schools.”
Content for Goochland County Public Schools can be found on iTunes by visiting the iTunes Store > iTunes U > K-12 or by directly following this link. The content may also be found on an iOS device with the iTunes U app (free). Of special interest to community members and parents are our audio recordings of school board meetings through the service.

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