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UH on iTunesU - Moving Beyond a "Preview"
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by Kenwrick Chan

In the Fall 2006 semester ITS rolled out a preview version of "University of Hawaii on iTunesU." iTunesU is a file download service provided by Apple that makes educational content available for student and community use. "University of Hawaii on iTunesU" is a joint collaboration between Apple and the University by which state-of-the-art teaching with technology may be administered. The service was initially characterized as a "preview" because technology features of the service at that time did not contain the full functionality that ITS prefers for one of its supported applications, however it was determined that access to the basic technology was beneficial to the University community.

Software upgrades have recently been made which moves the service into full functionality. Content owners may now designate which users can download, edit, or upload content. Multiple target populations are available to content owners:

  • Guests (any user regardless of whether they have a UH username or not)
  • All UH (any user with a UH username)
  • Faculty (the content owners - all of which have edit ability for their respective group)
  • myGroup (A group is defined by content owners to include all the members of a course and/or a group of UH users that the content owner specifies. The group may be based on Campus, CRN, or TERM.   

To request a "University of Hawai'i on iTunesU" account, or to specify the members of a "myGroup", in any of the four content areas point a web browser to and click on the "Manage" link.

Enable/Disable Features

To enable or disable features you should login into iTunesU and navigate to your content area. Once there click on "Edit Page" in the "Links" area in the upper right corner of the page. An "Access for Media" dialog box will appear just under the "Links" area. As you click through the tabs that you've created for your content you may see the labels in "Access for Media" tab change from one value to another; each tab has it's own specific access attributes which can be enabled.

The features that can be enabled for each target population include:

  • No access - hides this tab and it's contents from all users in this group
  • Download - allows users to see and download the contents of this tab
  • Drop box - allows users to upload content, but not see content uploaded by others
  • Shared - users can upload/download content by all members of this group
  • Edit - this provides the same feature set that is available to the content owner; users with edit ability can make any change the owner is capable of making. (One would rarely enable this feature for students because they can accidentally delete content intended for the entire class.)

Let's walk through some real world situations to see how you might implement them.

  1. You develop your content well in advance, but you want your audience to see your content when it's time.

    Create a tab and set "no access" for all groups. Upload your content to that tab, then select the content and move it to the "public view" tab when ready. If you want only your class to see your content then point your web browser to the "Manage" link on If you want to populate myGroup by enrollment (which is synced daily) click on the "myGroup:Courses" to specify your Campus/CRN/Term. Another option is to specify individual UH users, to accomplish this click on "myGroup:Guests."
  2. You want students to submit media for others to view or for you to review (and post with comments).

    Point your web browser to to define myGroup. Create a tab, then specify upload or drop box for myGroups. "Upload" will allow all members of the class to download what the student uploaded immediately. "Drop box" allows you to control this access, by moving their uploaded file to a public area or downloading their content, revising it, and then uploading it to a public area.

If you have any development accounts that are hidden from public view, they are still hidden. A modification has been made which automatically allows any users that you have populated in myGroup to see your "content folder" once you've added them to your myGroup for that content.

One final note to remember: "University of Hawai'i on iTunesU" is a download service; users download a copy during use. You must secure the legal permission to distribute the content that you make available for downloading.
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Last Updated: November 2006