UW News

October 18, 2007

Dawg TV? Public, ‘private’ faces to UW both part of iTunes presentations

Wanted: UW videos and other multimedia materials of interest to people aged 18 to 35. The University wants to post the material to its iTunes U Web site, where it can be seen and downloaded by students, prospective students, their parents and possibly even younger alumni.

The iTunes U site is a space on Apple Inc.’s server where universities can post content of their choice. The UW’s intention is to use that space to post interesting and entertaining multimedia content. “We want prospective students to be able to turn to a page and find out a little bit more about what life is like as a Husky,” said Harry Hayward, director of electronic media and special programs. “It’s not going to be, for example, 60 podcast lectures on geology.”

Eventually, there will be two faces to iTunes U. The public face, active now, is where all the interesting content for the younger audience is. The private face, still under development, is where the University will be able to aggregate all its podcasts of lectures and other academic content. Professors, through a UWNetID, will then be able to give students access to this site for materials just for their class.

But it is the public side of iTunes U that the University is seeking material for now. To get a look at the site, go to http://itunes.washington.edu and click on “Go to UW on iTunes U.” You will need to download iTunes software, which is free, to access the site. It is divided into four categories:

  • Husky Life, which currently includes an advisers’ podcast, a recording of Husky fight songs, videocasts by The Daily and a video called Why Choose CSE?

  • What’s Hot, which includes a short video of students saying what they think is cool about the UW and a DX Arts video.

  • It Happened at the UW, which includes a video of computer science capstone design projects and Paul Farmer’s lecture, Building a Community-Based Health Care Movement.

  • Endless Campus, which includes Donald Brownlee’s lecture, Dust in Time, and an excerpt on the environment from the business summit, Ideas to Innovation.

“We intend to change the content on the site fairly often to keep it fresh,” Hayward said. “That’s why we’d really like people on campus to submit their material.”

To submit content, go once again to http://itunes.washington.edu and click on “contribute.” You’ll be asked to provide some information, which will be sent to a committee made up of representatives of Media Relations and Communication and Computing and Communication. The committee will decide which materials are posted on the site.

The washington.edu site also provides information about training for the software involved in producing programs and about ways of borrowing equipment. In addition to video, the site accepts audio, PowerPoint and slide shows or slide talks — anything that can be converted to an MP3 or MP4 format.

Most of the materials on the site will be under 30 minutes, Hayward said, in keeping with the spirit (though not the content) of YouTube. Campus units that already have their own iTunes accounts can use the UW on iTunes U site to tease their materials.

“In addition to ‘album art’ — which is how you describe your material in pictures, all contributors also get several links so they can direct viewers back to their site,” Hayward said. “We really want to encourage departments and students to make their own videos that tell who they are and what they do.”

For further information, contact Hayward at hhayward@u.washington.edu