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  • L’origine de Stanford on iTunes U

    Stanford University a été la première université être entrée sur iTunes U. iTunes U, qu’est-ce que c’est ? iTunes U est un annuaire gratuit de podcasts d’universités, accessible depuis le logiciel iTunes par le lien qui dirige vers l’iTunes Store…

    On a enfin réussi à trouver un article qui relatait de l’entrée de l’Université de Stanford sur iTunes U. L’extrait qui suit est un pur copié collé du site de Bruno Giussani (directeur de TED Conferences), en anglais, trouvé ici :

    « Stanford on iTunes

    To my knowledge, Stanford is the first university to use iTunes to give access to (selected, for now) lectures and courses, for free, to all (Stanford already has a history of webcasting certain seminars such as Terry Winograd’sHuman-Computer Interaction).
    The service was launched a couple of months ago, and it was principally aimed at providing Stanford’s content in an easy format to its 180’000 alumni, which are dispersed in 171 countries – but as a consequence it is available to anyone.
    I wanted to know more about this, so I e-mailed Cindy Pearson at Stanford’sAlumni Center:

    How did it start?

    The initiative had a very grass-roots/organic start. Stanford is one of 6 schools that Apple is working with to incorporate the use of iPods/iTunes into the academic setting. (The other schools are Duke, Brown, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Missouri.) A pilot project at Stanford was launched last spring with a handful of IHUM classes (Introduction to the Humanities). One of the people initially involved with this project was Scott Stocker, the university webmaster. He had the idea that this application might be great for a more public facing site, and he approached both the Alumni Association and Apple with the idea. We both felt it was worth pursuing. From our perspective, we had for a long time been looking for ways to economically provide intellectual audio content to our alumni. This seemed like a great solution.

    Why the cooperation with iTunes rather than other, more « open » formats?

    As said above, the arrangement with iTunes literally fell into our laps, and we jumped at the opportunity without giving a lot of consideration to other, more open format options. Apple is putting a lot of staff time and resources into the project (including hosting all the content one their servers), which was an important factor as well. We didn’t have another logical group to partner with, and Apple was as anxious as we were to explore this opportunity. We are currently working on making all the content available in RSS (it will still be AAC format, which is compatible with any mp4 player). As soon as it’s ready, you will be able to link to the RSS feed via itunes.stanford.edu, so our format options will be expanded.

    How many audio and video programs are currently available?

    There are currently over 350 programs available. Only 2 are videos, though we will be expanding that area in the coming months.

    Is any figure available on how many people have already downloaded files from Stanford on iTunes?

    Our data on this is a bit sketchy, and we are not quite sure how to interpret it. (We are working with Apple to improve the data collection aspect of the current system.) What we can tell you is this: over the first 3 weeks, traffic on the Stanford site was similar to that of the top 5 podcasts on iTunes. And a recent report showed over 60,000 downloads for the 4 weeks from Nov. 16-Dec. 13.

    When universities open up their courses online in a way or another, critics generally say that they’re giving away their assets for free. What does Stanford say in response to that?

    I think that the faculty who give us permission to use their content feel that it is part of the role of a university to disseminate knowledge and encourage the sharing of ideas. I think they view Stanford on iTunes as an innovative and easy way to further this endeavor.

    Thanx Cindy. »

    Publié le Lundi 10 août 2009

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