iTunes U Update: Apple Looks to Replace Textbooks with iPads

Technology is making swift changes in schools across the world and Apple wants to be part of that with its educational initiatives.

A few days ago, Apple had announced important updates to iTunes U, which will bring even more educational content on the iPad. Starting from tomorrow, teachers can use the free iTunes U app to create, edit and manage entire courses directly on the iPad.

Students can start class discussions and ask questions right from their iPad, as well, in what seems to be Apple’s effort to revolutionize teaching methods with more interactive ways. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said the following when the update was announced:

“Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students. 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.”

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There are already over 75,000 educational apps available for the iPad, and their number is growing by the day as more developers submit new ones on the iTunes store. There are apps that make use of the camera and microphone of the tablet, which makes the courses and lessons much more enjoyable.

Fraser Speirs, head of computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland, added his own input:

“iTunes U is the most powerful destination for bringing the entire educational experience to life on iPad. By freeing teachers to create and organize courses right on iPad, educators can be better focused on enabling student participation both with the content and one another.”

By using the Discussions feature in the iTunes U app, students can automatically follow classroom discussions and join conversations on new topics, set up push notifications and even interact with the teachers, as well.

Larry Reiff, a teacher from Roslyn High School in New York, expressed her contempt with the latest update:

“Discussions in iTunes U puts the potential for thoughtful exploration and collaboration into the hands of every one of our students. iPad and iTunes U continue to provide students with the tools they need to build knowledge and demonstrate their learning.”

Educators themselves can create their own iTunes U courses in 69 countries and make them available in 155 countries.

Thus, with the latest iTunes U update, instructors to create, edit and assign course work using the iPad, as before they had to log on to a computer and handle courses through a web browser.

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