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Press Release

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida’s iTunes U Web Site Launches
~ New site opens doors to free education content and resources ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education recently launched its new iTunes U Web site, providing free multimedia content to schools, parents, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world. As part of iTunes U, an area of the iTunes Store offering free education content, Florida’s new site provides access to audio, video and text files that are designed to enhance what, when, and where individuals learn.

“Through the iTunes U launch, Florida teachers are able to bring enriching educational experiences in multimedia formats to students and approach the learning process in new and exciting ways,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “We’re happy to offer districts and educators this efficient content sharing tool and can’t wait to see the innovative materials and lessons they are able to build to enhance the education of our students.”

Materials to be accessed through Florida’s iTunes U Web portal must first be submitted for review to Florida’s participating content partners where it will be subjected to a rigorous evaluation to ensure all materials maintain the highest standards of quality, accuracy, and relevance. Florida’s current content partners include the Florida Department of Education, Florida Memory: State Library and Archives of Florida, the Florida Humanities Council, the School District of Manatee County, Broward County Public Schools, Escambia County School District, Orange County Public Schools, the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, and Florida Virtual School.

Florida’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Megan Allen, recently demonstrated to members of the State Board of Education the capabilities of the new iTunes U application. Florida’s new iTunes U Web site is one component of the state’s education technology plan, an extension of the Department’s Next Generation Strategic Plan, and is primarily focused on connecting students, teachers, parents, and communities to shared resources designed to further the state’s educational goals.

“I’m excited Florida now has the ability to use iTunes U in the classroom, allowing teachers to fine-tune their craft and grow together,” said Teacher of the Year Megan Allen. “By incorporating podcasts into lessons, students can now be transported to exotic locations or access information directly from experts in any subject, right from their very own classroom.”

To visit Florida on iTunes U page, go to www.floridaitunesu.com. For more information about the state’s technology plan, including how iTunes U is incorporated, visit http://www.fldoe.org/board/meetings/2009_09_15/TechPlanFinal.pdf (PDF, File Not Found). To view Megan Allen’s iTunes U presentation to State Board of Education members, visit http://data.fldoe.org/winmed/2009_09_15/SBOE-SEP-109k-pt2.wmv (WMV).