In August, the Arkansas Department of Education launched Arkansas on iTunes U and became one of the many universities and state agencies to distribute educational media to the world for free through iTunes U. Students and teachers can supplement class instruction by accessing a rich library of audio and video content and by creating and publishing podcasts that enrich their learning and the learning of others.
In order to take advantage of this free resource, it is time for districts to make decisions about how to provide access to iTunes U, a section of the iTunes store.
The Department of Information Systems state web filter does not block iTunes; however, it may currently be part of the streaming media category blocked by your district. If your district currently blocks “general streaming media,” then “education” will need to be listed in the “allow” column.
Additionally, you may choose to block iTunes but allow access to the iTunes U section of the iTunes store. Instructions from Apple may be found at these links:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2102 (for Windows)
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3490 (for Mac)
Additional tutorials are provided in the attached document.
There are options for integrating iTunes U usage into your network while managing bandwidth issues:
· As a starting point, you may elect to create a policy for teacher machines that allows access to iTunes U and then create a different policy for student machines that does not allow iTunes U. This can be handled by the district's technology staff by distributing workgroup policies during log in, or also by maintaining separate computer images for teacher and student work stations.
· You may choose to do a time block, preventing the use of iTunes U during peak usage hours. To do this, you will need to request local control from the Department of Information Systems as opposed to using the state default.
· You may elect to purchase more bandwidth through local providers. In this case, be prepared for the responsibilities of complying with the Arkansas Department of Education IT Security Policy (RT-09-010), as well as the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). These policies include taking such measures as Internet filtering, firewalling, and setting up secure and DMZ network access areas to ensure that the outside bandwidth does not allow security breeches, viruses, or spyware onto the state's network.