NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: JANUARY 6, 2011


Teachers, students, and parents now have a new tool to help them download the latest multimedia education resources from North Carolina, including presentations, professional development videos, curriculum materials and more, for free. The Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the Governor's Office have worked with other organizations in the state to create the collection of education-related audio and video files that is now available on the new "North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Partners" section of iTunes U.

iTunes U is a dedicated area within the iTunes Store and offers free educational content available for download in the same way individuals access music and videos on the iTunes Store. NCDPI Instructional Technology Director Neill Kimrey presented the new site to members of the State Board of Education at its meeting in Raleigh today.

"The iTunes U site is a smart, cost efficient solution for North Carolina's students, teachers and administrators to share and store educational content," said Gov. Bev Perdue. "Expanding content outside the walls of the classroom will help our students graduate career or college ready."

The NCDPI has posted audio and video files related to professional development, state curriculum and news on iTunes U and will continue to post new content, including more items related to North Carolina's new Standard Course of Study, which will be rolled out in 2012-13. Some of the categories of content featured on the site include Educational Leadership, Learning Resources, Curriculum and Teaching and Learning Resources. All content on iTunes U can be experienced on a PC or Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad. Users also can subscribe to receive alerts when new material is added under a specific category.

"This initiative utilizes technology many of us are already familiar with to share best practices in teaching and learning from North Carolina and across the nation," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "This type of collaboration is a key part of our efforts to better prepare young people for the future."

The NC Museum of History and LEARN NC have also contributed curriculum-related content to the site including videos focused on North Carolina history and linguistics, and audio files featuring lessons about Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. NCDPI plans to continue to form partnerships with additional organizations so more can be added to the state's iTunes U content in the future.

"Government agencies, districts and schools often struggle to find ways to provide low-cost to access digital media files from one central location," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "By working together and using iTunes U, we can all share the valuable 21st century learning resources created by a variety of state agencies and organizations with expertise in K-12 education."

For more information about North Carolina's iTunes U site visit or contact NCDPI Communications at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.