Apple gives schools another reason to ditch textbooks with iTunes U update

Courses can be created and managed right from an iPad

Teachers will be able to create, edit, manage and share course materials with their students directly from Apple’s iPad following an update to its iTunes U software.

The update will negate the need for a computer so that teachers can create and manage whole courses right from the tablet. Students can then access the material from their own iPads, including lectures, assignments, books and quizzes.

Apple has also added group chats to the iTunes U’s feature set. Notifications will let students know when classmates have responded to their comments, or if a new conversation thread has been started. Teachers can take part and moderate discussions by removing off-topic messages or replies.

The update helps position the iPad as a valuable educational resource and familiarises students with the tablet from a young age. Currently thousands of educational institutions use iTunes U to host 7,500 public courses, claims Apple.

Courses can be created using iTunes U in 69 countries and educational content can be accessed from 155 countries. Good Gear Guide is awaiting response from Apple on the software's adoption in Australia.

Apple will push its iTunes U update to compatible iPads next week on 8 July.

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Tags itunes uAppleiosiPadiTunes

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Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

PC World

1 Comment

Peter from Brisbin

1

written by a person that has never been in a classroom, developed by a company that has never had to work in Public Schools where funding for toilet paper and the power bill takes all the money and the printer that hasn't worked for 6 months will still not get fixed. My current school needs $40k to upgrade airport for general access in a 600 student school. And just WHEN will teachers get time to develop, vet, load these apps? I don't have a magic bunny to mark current assignments, write report cards, deal with bad behavior that is the direct result of poor parenting.

In the Utopian Teaching World that Government , parents and media think teachers live and work in, this would work, in reality it is just another idea that is poorly funded, lacks true support, no training proposed by organisations and others that have never spent real time in a classroom that has NO Aircon, one powerpoint, poor lighting, little or no resources. The real cost of effective education is reflected in fees charged by Private Schools (that also get government funding) and teachers in Public Schools spend their own time AND MONEY trying to give a misinformed media, disinterested parents (the proof of that is in a school with over 250 parents we struggle to get 10 to a Parents Meeting run in our time), and a mean government trying to give students quality education in a broken system.

Here is the challenge, any media reporter ANY media reporter, come and work as a teacher in my or any other class in a Public School for a week, prepare the lessons (in your own time as we do....no magic bunny..) and I will work in your job for a week. I know I can do your job, can your sanity stand up to a week in the classroom?

Currently, new teachers are lasting 5 years and getting out. There are better conditions, better pay, and support outside the education system.

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