Tuesday, December 01, 2009
iTunes U boosts UIS' visibility on the web
The University of Illinois Springfield’s listing in the iTunes Store, a popular software-based online digital media store, is paying off in boosting the campus’ presence on the web.
UIS was selected by Apple, Inc. to join the iTunes Store on August 18, 2009. UIS had been using an internal iTunes U account on campus since January 2007, with limited public access. The switch has made UIS content available to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.
“We are able to get our story out in a very inexpensive manner. iTunes provides a way to really have great social outreach and it’s a great recruiting tool,” said Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the Department of Information Technology Services.
In the first three months UIS has been part of the iTunes store new downloads have increase by more than 75,000. Before the store the campus averaged only 3,000 downloads every three months.
“I think it’s a great market research story. It’s given us a really, really wide reach,” said Khaund.
One of the podcasts attracting the most attention is Professor Michael Cheney’s “The Beatles: Popular Music and Society”. Listens of Cheney’s series alone shot up by 60,000 downloads two months after membership in the iTunes Store began.
The “Revealing Voices” series produced by Khaund and other campus partners was chosen by Apple as a noteworthy podcast helping to boost downloads by 7,000 in two weeks.
The podcasts are also paying off for students, who can log on and listen to them for free. Students have lectures, seminars, and student assignments right at their fingertips through the service.
“We’ve been able to capture faculty content knowledge and deliver it to students. The benefit of that being that the students are able to review, pause, rewind, and take better notes and help in their different learning styles,” said Khaund.
More information on podcasting at UIS is available at www.uis.edu/sightsandsounds/podcasts/. To access UIS on iTunes U, go to http://itunes.uis.edu/. All of the content is available free of charge.