Steve Jobs' Legacy Lives at USF

USF was one of the first universities to partner with Apple on iTunes U, adopt technology for teaching.


                                                                                                        Video credit: Amy Mariani | USF News


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla.  (Oct. 6, 2011) – The University of South Florida, whose 2006 partnership with Apple’s iTunes U has led to tens of millions of downloads of classic literature and lectures around the world while the use of Apple technology has modernized care at USF Health, is saluting the legacy of Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs.


Jobs and Apple’s commitment to education has been at the forefront of the unique and successful partnership built between USF and the computer giant. Since becoming one of the first universities to partner with Apple in iTunes U, USF has consistently ranked among the top in downloads from the educational site.


USF’s highly-popular Lit2Go content on iTunes U from the USF College of Education as well as a variety of other USF-generated content has been downloaded more than 20 million times since 2007 throughout the world.


USF ranks fourth in iTunes U downloads among 270 universities, according to the 2011 social media report from Web Strategy Research. Lit2Go provides audio versions of the world’s great classic literature as well as a variety of university lectures and course content free to anyone with the capability to download it. USF’s iTunes U project is the brainchild of the university’s Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the College of Education.


In addition to iTunes U, the college also has created iTeach, an initiative for education majors who are learning to teach with iPads and incorporate digital technology in K-12 schools.


“USF sends its condolences to Steve Jobs’ family and everyone at Apple,” said Colleen Kennedy, dean of USF’s College of Education. “Steve Jobs was a visionary leader whose work has revolutionized education. Because his company gave us the ability to distribute at no cost digital content, we really have been able to teach the world to read. He has made such a positive impact on education.


 “Truly he has left a lasting legacy. We will always be indebted to him and all our colleagues at Apple,” Kennedy said.


In addition to iTunes U, USF has forged other important partnerships with Apple to advance educational opportunities.


Stephen Klasko, Senior Vice President for USF Health and Dean of USF’s College of Medicine, chaired an Apple working group of health deans nationwide to look at ways to implement mobile technology in teaching for all students in health disciplines. As a result, Apple sponsored a conference with USF Health that drew 200 medical and other health educators to talk about the digital future for healthcare.


This year, two major programs have been launched on iPADs - the new College of Pharmacy and the new leadership track in medicine called SELECT, a program partnership between USF and Lehigh Valley Health Network that prepares new physician leaders.


In 2009, USF launched a unique educational program providing all of its student athletes with access to a MacBook Pro 13-inch notebook computer every semester.  As part of the program, USF will be adding new lectures to iTunes U enabling traveling student athletes to access class materials no matter their location.


And in 2008, USF President Judy Genshaft was invited to the company’s California headquarters to address several hundred Apple executives on the future of education.


“Steve Jobs was a genius I would compare with the likes of Thomas Edison,” said Mark Greenberg, director of USF Libraries’ Special and Digital Collections.  “I have to agree with those who say he made products people didn’t know they wanted.  The attention to detail and design shows real innovative and visionary thinking.  Jobs understood better than anyone else the importance of those things. No detail was too small.”


Mac users in the Tampa library can partially thank Greenberg, who refers to himself as a “Macvangelist” for being able to use their computers seamlessly on campus.  Conversion was on his agenda when he arrived at USF 10 years ago and found not one Apple computer among the library’s 100 plus employees  nor the ability to interact with anything but PCs.


He managed to acquire several Apple computers for Information Technology to work with and a decade later there are dozens of them well integrated into the library’s system.


"The world has lost a real innovator. For the millions of people worldwide who use and enjoy Apple products, Jobs' passing is personal," Greenberg said.

USF Professor Richard D. Gitlin, a State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar and the Agere-Cerrent Endowed Chair Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, has spent his career in the communications and networking industry. Among Gitlin’s patents is one for fourth-generation wireless networking. He credited Jobs with revolutionizing the manner in which users interacted with technology.

“Jobs changed the way people lived and worked and played – and few people have ever done that,” Gitlin said. “It’s simply remarkable that he touched all of our lives. It’s very rare, that’s why you compare him to people like Edison. His influence is very profound.”

USF Media Contacts: Vickie Chachere and Barbara Melendez, 813-974-4014.