THE WORLD’S SMARTEST DOWNLOAD
August 1 2010
Coined by Apple as a place to never stop learning, iTunes U is a place where all users can download lectures, discussions, language lessons, audio books, podcasts and other opportunities for enlightenment — all from top universities, museums and other cultural institutions around the world. As an extension in 2009 iTunes U introduced its K-12 Australian component for schools.
Kolbe College who have been using podcasting techniques for some time were invited by the Catholic Education Office along with the other colleges in Western Australia to submit materials considered worthy for this educational repository. Through the initiatives of staff members Bradley Tyrrell and Skye Moroney a series of such podcasts were produced at the College. Three particular learning areas were to the forefront with Tycast – being ICT learning materials created by Mr Tyrrell, Turbocast – a set of educational initiatives for the Design Technology courses created by Mr Wayne Spencer and Hagipod – a series of language podcasts for Japanese students created by Mr Noburo Hagiwara.
Being pioneers in any field of ICT education especially this new area, where the agreements are signed off between Apple and Catholic Network Australia and the school is not included, has presented its share of challenges. Even the most conscientious and well-planned teaching program and developed set of resources by Mr Hagiwara have had trouble finding there way into cyberspace as we battle to overcome the protocols set by our CEO office. Despite these frustrations, which still exist today, Kolbe College has been the standout representative school in Western Australia.
What began with Mr Hagiwara using technology such as a MacBook to create podcasts for Kolbe’s Japanese language curriculum has ended up as the flagship of Catholic Network Australia’s resource data bank. Mr Hagiwara’s expertise has been utilised in the development of this initiative.
|iTunes U – Online Resources||Mr Hagiwara with students and touch devices|
This new resource allows middle to upper school students, tertiary students and general public, to view video episodes – one new episode each week – to listen, speak, read and write Japanese (starting at the learner’s own level). The resource is based on the Courses of Studies published by the WA Curriculum Council and incorporated with Japanese Fluency Test syllabus. It is an active and versatile learning experience that can be undertaken by a student anytime and anywhere.
In May, Mr Lee Swift the System Support Officer for Information and Communication Technology at the CEO of Western Australia reported back from Sydney saying Apple was very impressed with Kolbe, often using them as the example and showed us the graph that displayed Noburo’s HAGiPOD content being downloaded 10,000+ times a week from across the world.