This term I am continuing to explore the use of the iTunesU Course Manager facility with my Year 7 RE class. I started using this last year after being shown by a great Apple educator Jeff Vardy. Course Manager was only released out here last year but it was easy to see the great potential for creating courses for students that could be pushed out to the iPads. Currently our module is ‘Christian Ideals: Moral Decisions’.
The way Course Manager works is this:
1. You login to Course Manager using Safari on a Mac or iMac (Course Manager does work on other browsers just make sure you are running the latest version) using your Apple ID.
2. Once logged in your able to create your course by adding content in a variety of ways. It is very easy to do. Here is where you assemble all the resources your students will need to complete the module or course. This is where you set up the structure of the course and the timeframe for completion. Obviously this is where you will spend most of your time.
3. Once the course has been set up and is ready to share with your students a code is generated with a link. You will need to share this link with your students.
4. The students will need to have the iTunesU app installed on their iPads. Once they click on the link and the iTunesU app will open and the course icon will appear with a ‘Request Enrolment’ button. Students request enrolment and receive a waiting for approval message. The course is not available until enrolment has been approved by the creator of the course.
5. As students enrol you will need to go back into Course Manager to accept their enrolment. Once you accept their enrolment the course will be fully available to them in their iTunesU Library. The students then work through the activities at either their own pace or a schedule set by you. At all times you are able to send direct messages to the students enrolled in the course.
At this stage I have found it a very effective way of structuring an RE module of five weeks. In my previous go at using Course Manager we moved through the activities as a class however over the next few weeks I am going to allow the students to move through the activities at their own pace and see how we go. I am not sure whether I can do all I need by using iPad as you cannot access Course Manager on the iPad. It is designed to be consumed on the iPad but created on the Mac. Part of Apple’s philosophy that the devices complement each other.