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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to hold "virtual ribbon cutting" for iTunes U

New Mexico State University will officially unveil NMSU iTunes U, a new and valuable education tool, during halftime of the NMSU women's basketball game Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Pan American Center. NMSU President Michael Martin will conduct the "virtual ribbon cutting" ceremony.

iTunes U allows universities from around the country to use the iTunes network to deliver videos, podcasts and other educational information to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. NMSU is the first and only university in the state to be part of iTunes U. Other universities using the program include Yale, MIT, Penn State, University of California Berkeley and Arizona State.

"Technology is allowing us to throw open the doors to the university," said Jeanne Gleason, director of Media Productions at NMSU. "Now, people anywhere will have free and easy access to top quality documentaries, lectures, concerts and classroom material produced by NMSU."

Anyone from NMSU can post content into various categories on the NMSU iTunes U site. Links can also take users to different NMSU Web sites. The NMSU iTunes U site currently features a wide range of content from information about university programs to videos on food safety and nutrition, wildlife of the Southwest and xeriscaping and other yard and garden advice.

"Many of these videos were available for as much as $50 a set. Now they are being given away for free. We encourage teachers to use these tools for educational purposes," Gleason said.

Gleason believes most people will be surprised at how easy it is to post and download content using iTunes U.

"The iTunes software is free. It will run on both Macs and PCs. Users don't need an iPod. You only need a computer with an Internet connection. It doesn't even need to be a fast Internet connection," she said.

The NMSU site has information in English, Spanish and is the only site with information in Navajo. The university is actively training faculty and staff in how to post additional content.

"This is only the beginning of the possibilities," Gleason said. "This is a site that will be updated with new content on a regular basis. This is only about 10 percent of the content we will have in three to four months."

The project is a partnership between NMSU Information and Communication Technologies and University Communications Media Productions. The public is encouraged to visit http://itunes.nmsu.edu to find more information.