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There's a new way to get a taste of Brown that doesn't involve setting foot in Providence.
After a pilot period starting in May, Brown plans to launch its own page on iTunes U this week, joining hundreds of other colleges that already post free audio and video of lectures, student performances and virtual campus tours online.

Though Brown-specific content has already been available on Apple, Inc.'s media application by clicking through a link on Brown's Web site, the official launch sometime at the end of this week will make Brown's page searchable, and thus available to a wider audience.

Even though the program is only now exiting the pilot phase, plenty of Brown students and staff have taken advantage of the new media-sharing technology. Students in a Brazilian literature class are using the site to record themselves reciting poetry in Portuguese. The Attitude Dance Company has posted videos of some of its performances. The Watson Institute for International Studies has uploaded nearly 300 educational podcasts about global issues targeted at high school students.

Even President Ruth Simmons has uploaded a video of her address at this year's Convocation.

Currently, over 200,000 audio and video files are available for free download from the site's contributing universities — including Yale, Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And universities aren't the only ones jumping on board. The site includes institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress.
Scott Turner, the University's director of Web communications, has played a key role in rolling out iTunes U at Brown. "This is a public conveyance in imagery and sound of life across the Brown community," he said.

Some interested faculty members have already been trained to develop and post content for iTunes, he added.

More content, available next week, should be added to the site soon in preparation for the launch, Turner said.

Though no full courses are offered online just yet ­(Yale, for example, has 13)­, he said full online classes "could happen."

"We're certainly open to the idea," he said.

Natalia Nazarewicz '11, who works as a social media assistant with Turner and has worked on Brown's iTunes U project, said she hopes that publicity and word of mouth will help the site's content to grow.

"Hopefully when students see there's this place for them to put up content, they'll be contributing more to it," she said.

Until the official launch, students can access Brown's iTunes U content at brown.edu/web/itunes.


 




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