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Posts Tagged ‘itunes

In July I updated my iPhone to iOS 8.4. When iOS updates, so does iTunes to keep pace. Like most updates, these brought new features and fixes, but they also broke what did not need fixing.

I did nothing to my podcast subscriptions on my devices. However, the updates caused one particular subscription to be blocked. I tried in vain to remedy what was not previously a problem.

Thanks to the collective problem-solving in online forums, I discovered that a new setting was the culprit. This is what to do to reach it.

  1. Activate the Settings application.
  2. Go to the General category.
  3. Go to Restrictions, and enter your passcode to access the menu. Note: You may have set different passcodes for your iPhone and for Restrictions.
  4. If not enabled, select Enable Restrictions.
  5. Scroll down to the Allowed Content subsection.
  6. Go to Music, Podcasts & iTunes U and turn Explicit on.

Before I had this solution, I moved to SoundCloud for the same podcast. SoundCloud does not have the same restrictions setting, but it does not seem to remember where I stop playback and to resume playing from that point.

SoundCloud also does not remember this between devices so that I can switch seamlessly between a Macbook Air and iPhone, for example.

Addendum: Apple pushed a minor update, iOS 8.4.1, today. The setting remained intact on my iPad, but reverted to off on my iPhone.

As I examine most things through an educational lens, this incident reminded me of the:

  1. power of collective problem-solving as enabled by the Internet;
  2. importance of providing resources on open platforms; and
  3. need to provide the same resource on different platforms should a platform change policy or not be available to some learners.


I am happy to announce that the online portion of my flipped classroom course is now ready on iTunes U.

The materials can be accessed on the iOS, Mac, and Windows platforms. For the latter two operating systems, you will need to have iTunes installed in your system.

Those who have watched my five-part YouTube series will find those same videos in the course.

I hesitate to call this a course because what I have designed in an experience. There is an online experience and a face-to-face one.

Here are some expectations I have for my online learners:

  1. The online component focuses on five basic areas of flipped learning (see outline). The content does not have to be consumed in the order listed.
  2. The face-to-face component reinforces what participants learn independently online and focuses on managing groups, levels, and cohorts of classes on flipped journeys. Only participants of MLS126 experience this component.
  3. The blended course has been designed on the basis that it is meaningful and timely questions that drive learning. Therefore, the online component has been design to provide more questions than answers about flipping.
  4. The online-only participant will be expected to be highly independent and self-directed in his/her quest to learn more about flipped learning. This not only puts principles of flipped learning into play, but also models a main way of designing experiences for flipped learning.
  5. There are five short videos (each 3-4 minutes long), one set of curated readings on flipped classrooms, and a course wiki. The online-only participant is free to consume content in any order they wish and has read-only access to the wiki.
  6. While the suggested duration of this experience is five weeks, the online-only participant can gain a basic appreciation of flipped learning in five hours or less. A more driven participant can write a book chapter or literature review in five months or more. The work you set for yourself expands or contracts to fit the time you give it. Choose wisely.
  7. The online-only participant does not have to be a solitary learner. S/He is free to email the facilitator, interact with MLS126 participants via the wiki (function pending), or create a his/her own personal learning network to learn more about flipped classrooms.

For those taking the elective in NIE, I have this to say at our shared wiki space:

The course is designed for middle managers or leaders in schools who already have some experience with flipping and who need to manage teams of flippers.

This is a blended course that has two main components (online and face-to-face) and leverages on several flipped classroom strategies.

The online components provide instructor-scaffolded and self-directed opportunities to learn more about the flipped classroom. The face-to-face components focus more on managing flipped classrooms and provide opportunities for learning that is differentiated, experiential, social, and collaborative in nature.

The most basic flipped classroom approach is the consumption of content and learner-directed research prior to class and online. This course adds two more dimensions to flipped learning that practitioners do not normally consider. These dimensions will be explored and experienced in this course.

Footnote: It is also my birthday today. I hope this course and the experiences I provide for participants is a gift that keeps on giving!

Recently I had to set up a few US iTunes app store accounts for my staff at the CeL. Why not get my staff to buy their own apps?

iTunes Gift Cards by yum9me, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  yum9me 

First, I wanted to give them iOS apps as Christmas presents.

Second, we do not yet have a clear and logical system at work for making claims for low-cost individual apps. (These apps are considered software and are subject to an approval process!)

Third, each iTunes account can be authorized on five computers. With most of my teams comprising of four or five members, this was a perfect opportunity to buy apps for entire teams. (We resorted to this as bulk licensing is currently available only in the USA.)

But the process is not straightforward since my department does not have access to a shared credit card. So here is a workaround that is based on previous solutions offered by others online [1] [2].

  1. Create new email accounts (I used Gmail) with shared logins and passwords for each team.
  2. Buy iTunes gift cards for use in the US store. I bought mine from Qisahn.com.
  3. Use each new email account to set up a new iTunes account at the US store.*
  4. When asked to provide credit card details, use the gift card code into the relevant box instead.
  5. Share the iTunes IDs and passwords with the teams.

The gift cards work only from the store you purchase them from. If you buy an Aussie gift card, you must create an Aussie iTunes account. The choice of store depends on whether:

  • the apps you want are available in that store (there are some apps you cannot get at the Singapore store)
  • you have a usable address and phone number in the country in which that store is based*

There were at least two things I realized when trying to buy apps for my teams in systems that forbade it.

Lesson 1: This is one possible workaround because policy makers have not got their heads around new ways of using, purchasing and distributing apps. So much for being in the 21st century!

Lesson 2: There are elements of this process that one might label 21st century skills. I am not referring to problem-solving as humans have had to do this for as long as we can remember. Think about how and why you might do what I asterisked (*) for example.


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