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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Internet on campus: Professors offer lectures on iTunes

Professors at the U are beginning to grasp the technological revolution.

Through a deal with Apple, the U now offers iTunes for faculty members to broadcast lectures and information on the Web. Students can find and download lectures onto their iPods or MP3 players from

“With WebCT, you have to get someone more technologically involved, but anyone can use iTunes,” said Richard Glaser, an information technician for student labs.

The Marriott Library introduced iTunes in September, and it’s already attracting attention from professors.

Janet Kaufman, an English professor at the U, uses iTunes to record her lectures and make them available to students online.

“I have a student with scheduling problems who can’t come to all of my class sometimes,” she said. “I can now make that course information available for students with those kind of problems.”

Although Kaufman’s students can now access lectures online, she doesn’t think it will encourage students to not attend, she said.

“In this class, attendance is crucial — students need to be there for out-of-class discussion and group work,” she said.

Many professors make attendance a part of grading so it becomes mandatory.

“This is really for students who missed part of the lecture or want to go over some of it,” Kaufman said. “So far I’ve found it to be really useful, and my students seem to like it.”

Garrett Wilson, a senior in exercise and sport science teaching, found having Kaufman’s lectures available on iTunes useful.

“Sometimes I’ll miss class because of schedule overlap,” Wilson said. “It’s such a relief to be able to go back and listen to what was missed in class.”

Not everyone, however, has found iTunes to be so useful.

“It’s a great idea for making information accessible,” said Suzanne Stensaas, a U professor in neurobiology and anatomy. “But the files are so large that it takes forever to upload them.”

The files for neuroanatomy are around 250 megabites and can take hours to load, Stensaas said.

She plans on surveying her students to find out what they think of iTunes and whether she should continue with the system or find a quicker method.

“Medical students are the least patient students you’ll find,” Stensaas said. “If it’s not time efficient, they won’t bother with iTunes and just use the PowerPoint presentation and MP3 that (are) also available for them to use.”

However, her students aren’t complaining too much about using iTunes..

“I have it set up so it downloads in the background,” said Eric Konnick, a second-year medical student at the U. “I don’t even notice it until it’s done. The only problem comes with setup, which can take a while.”

Instead of waiting for the lecture information to download, Billie Bixby, another Stensaas’ student, made her own podcast with iTunes and put it on the second-year medical students’ website.

“If you had to go to a separate site to download the files, it could take a while, but it automatically updates the new files onto my iPod and there is no wait,” she said.


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