Apple today announced updates to iTunes U, bringing educators and students great new tools to build and experience educational content on the iPad. Beginning July 8, teachers using the free iTunes U app can create, edit and manage entire courses directly on the Apple tablet for the first time, and students will discover new ways to collaborate including the ability to start class discussions and ask questions right from their iPad.
"Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students," says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "iTunes U features an amazing selection of academic materials for everyone around the world. Now, with the ability to better manage and discuss educational content, learning becomes even more personalized on iPad."
The new in-app updates to iTunes U give teachers full course creation capabilities on the iPad, with the ability to directly add content and learning materials from iWork, iBooks Author or any of the over 75,000 educational apps available for the Apple tablet. Taking advantage of the built-in camera on iPad, teachers can also capture photos and videos to incorporate real-world subject matter into any course, making relevant content available to all students in an instant.
Students using an iPad and enrolled in private iTunes U courses will now have everything they need to fully collaborate with their classmates and teachers. With Discussions in the iTunes U app, students can automatically follow classroom discussions and join conversations on new topics, or set up push notifications for when new topics are started or replies are added to active exchanges. Teachers can participate in forums too, and have the ability to moderate discussions by removing any off-topic messages or replies.
iTunes U helps educators create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for millions of iOS users around the world. With over 750,000 individual learning materials available on the iTunes U app, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent organizations. Today, thousands of educational institutions are hosting over 7,500 public and thousands of private courses encompassing the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more.
Educators can create iTunes U courses in 69 countries and make their courses and educational content accessible via the iTunes U app in 155 countries. In addition to the thousands of individual iTunes U learning materials found on the iTunes Store, over 500,000 apps designed specifically for iPad are now available on the App Store. Additionally, with the free iBooks Author app on the Mac App Store, nearly 30,000 Multi-Touch books have been created by independent teachers and publishers worldwide.