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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Oct. 4, 2006


Having successfully launched an educational podcasting pilot program this summer, Santa Monica College is pleased to announce the launch of ‘SMC on iTunes U,’ making a wide range of podcasts available to students and the public alike.

SMC on iTunes U features course content, audio podcasts of various guest speakers at the college and public SMC Board of Trustees meetings, and a documentary video about SMC’s pilot podcasting program.

All material is available for free to the public, who can download content to their Macs or PCs and, if they so choose, transfer that content to iPods and Mp3 players. SMC will continue to upload material onto SMC on iTunes U, enriching the content with new educational material and students’ work.

SMC is among a growing number of colleges and universities turning to podcasting as an educational tool, including Stanford, UCLA and Duke in North Carolina.

SMC on iTunes U comes on the heels of a successful educational podcasting pilot program SMC held this summer that targeted a group of about 25 incoming freshmen. The college lent Apple iPods – funded by a federal grant – to the students, who were able to download video, audio, photos, graphics and text for homework assignments. The content – ranging from television and movie clips to videotaped campus tours – was available only to the students and faculty for downloads to their iPods.

Students – a group of low-income freshmen in remedial English and college orientation courses – and teachers in the program gave the podcasting high marks

“It was cool to be able to use iPods,” said student Curtis Hooper. “I’d never used an iPod before in my life.”
“I think it was a great project,” said counselor Jackie Seiden, who taught the college orientation class. “I really saw students’ quality of work improve.”

English professor Mira Pak also praised the use of the iPods. “Using the podcasts that were relevant to the topic assisted students to be able to understand the purpose and conceptual nature of the argumentative essay without getting bogged down in the readings,” she said.

(Apple’s iTunes software, a free download is required.)

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