first iTunes project: some notes

It’s been some time since I’ve had a chance to post here. I’ve been busy on my course blogs and with other things (like editing the union newsletter, which is one of the things I should be doing now).  However, I wanted to get some thoughts down about our first iTunes project.

The students in the Computers and English grad class created enhanced podcasts. Overall they did quite well. A couple of issues arose.

  1. The instructions suggested that they use a minimum of 10 images over 5 minutes. Many of the students used far more. In fact, several "broke" Garage Band’s ability to format the files for sharing. Essentially the students remediated a video aesthetic rather than the PowerPoint slide aesthetic. What they were trying to do would have worked better in iMovie (which is our next project).
  2. I told the students it would be OK if they used some copyrighted music. I did this based on the following rationale:
    • Students have some special rights to copyrighted work when used for classroom purposes.
    • The iTunes U site is limited in access only to students in the course (and of course tech support at Cortland and Apple)
    • I figured they would use little portions of songs

    Well, some of the students used more than a "little portion." I take responsibility myself for not being more clear. I’m not sure whether or not the pieces were a violation, but I decided to take them down.

I’m going to pursue the issue further. The question here is partly the College’s copyright policy, but more specifically it is the policy laid out in our contract with Apple. I am certainly no expert in copyright, but I am even less sure of the specifics of our contract and how they might create a different and more stringent policy.

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