Discussions let students, teachers communicate
As promised at the end of June, Apple has released a major update of iTunes U, v2.0. On the iPad, teachers can now create and manage courses entirely on their own, including assignments, outlines, and other course materials. Custom content can be added via an "Open in iTunes U" extension in other iOS apps such as Pages and Keynote; photos and video can be captured and uploaded directly. If a teacher is associated with a qualifying institution, they can publish courses to the official iTunes U catalog.
Teachers will be able to modify all course aspects
Apple has announced that a major update is coming to the iTunes U iPad app on July 8. The app will not only gain class discussions, but full teacher control of courses -- allowing educators to personally create, edit, and manage them. This includes adding content from iWork, iBooks Author, and educational apps, plus photos and videos captured directly from an iPad.
Educational content now in dozens of countries
Access to iBooks textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager has expanded to a number of new countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Apple has announced. Textbooks are now available in 51 countries -- including Brazil, Italy, and Japan -- while the Course Manager can be found in 70, among them Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Apps adopt look similar to Newsstand redesign
Following long after its iLife and iWork refreshes, Apple has updated the mobile iBooks and iTunes U apps to suit the look of iOS 7. Both apps have jettisoned the skeuomorphism of previous versions in favor of designs similar to the iOS 7 Newsstand. This includes elements like "flat" shelves, although iBooks continues to sport page-turning animations.
Says most downloads happening outside US
(Updated with Apple quote on iPad sales) Over 1 billion downloads have been made through iTunes U, Apple has announced. The service, a subset of iTunes, includes books, coursework, and podcasts, many of which are free to the public. Apple says that it has over 1,200 universities and colleges participating, and about the same number of K-12 institutions. In all, over 2,500 public courses are available, along with "thousands" of private ones.
Xcode gets Retina support, upgraded language features
Continuing a spree of software updates, Apple has also posted new versions of Xcode and Remote Desktop for the Mac, and iTunes U for iOS devices. Xcode 4.4 incorporates upgrades such as Retina display support, new C++ and Objective-C features, and the ability to commit individually-selected changes during source control. By default, the software includes the latest SDKs for OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 5.1.
Netherlands trials iPad as sole school method
The Netherlands is trying a major experiment where the iPad wouldn't just play a role in education but would be the centerpiece. The Education for a New Era effort would see three to five schools change from the traditional approach and use the iPad as a primary learning tool. While the exact method would wait until a formal proposal, it would encourage Dutch children to learn "21st century skills."
Samsung looks to target lucrative education market
Samsung has introduced a new platform to support its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 dubbed Learning Hub. The fresh service looks set to counter Apple’s renewed emphasis on iTunes U and will offer users educational content including 6,000 textbooks and video titles from 30 different education service providers. The company has only revealed some screenshots so far, but more information about its availability and any charges are expected to be revealed at the World Mobile Congress.
Apple plans internal town hall on Wednesday
An escaped internal e-mail from Apple CEO Tim Cook intercepted at 9to5 has made allusions to possible insights for 2012 plans to staff. Following the iBooks textbook launch and record quarterly results, Cook was holding a company event at the company's Town Hall theater at 10AM Wednesday. Cook and staff would review what Apple had done, but they would also discuss "some exciting new things going on at Apple," he said.
Guides teachers, students through process
Apple has opened up a new iTunes U support section on its website. The content is mostly aimed at educators, for instance guiding people through publishing, the Course Manager, and the Public Site Manager. Both students and faculty have access to forums, and instructions for dealing with settings and common problems.
A quick look at iTunes U in app form
Apple as part of many education introductions Thursday put out iTunes U as a self-contained app (App Store). The title turns what was once ultimately a glorified podcast section and turns it into a system that can be used for full, active courses. We're taking a look at an app to see how well it works in practice.
iBooks 2 gets our early look
Apple committed iOS to education in a big way at its event by launching iBooks 2. We've taken a look at Apple's first dip into a full digital textbook platform and come back fairly impressed. Read ahead for more details and what this might mean for Amazon, Kno, and others hoping to get into e-books for schools.
Also likely supports iTunes U app
Following its announcements of iBooks 2 and the iTunes U app, Apple has released iTunes 10.5.3. The update is a relatively minor one, explicitly intended to support the new interactive textbooks made possible by iBooks 2. It may also provide a backend for iTunes U, since the latter app supports buying and downloading online course material.
Broadens focus to include K-12 schools
Complementing its introduction of iBooks 2, Apple has also announced a separate iTunes U app. While superficially resembling iBooks, the title is capable of presenting complete online courses, including syllabi, reading material, media, and interactive content. Teachers can update courses with bulletins, such as new assignments, which trigger notifications for students. When an assignment is done, a student can mark it as complete.
We cover Apple NYC event as it happens
Apple is starting its New York City education event. The company is expected to introduce a new system to ease publishing textbooks and is rumored to be updating Pages and iBooks, including a possible Mac-native iBooks app. Check our real-time coverage for updates as they appear, starting from 10AM Eastern.
iTunes staff allegedly in 'lockdown mode'
Several more details have emerged about Apple's January event. 9to5Mac, for instance, says it has heard that iTunes staff are in "lockdown mode" ahead of any announcements. MacRumors meanwhile says it has learned of Apple taping promotional interviews with textbook publishing executives, although the site adds that it's uncertain if they relate to January plans.
Plans 'years' in making
Apple's rumored January event will be concentrating on iTunes U, and education in general, according to sources in touch with blogger and Fox News anchor Clayton Morris. Morris says he first heard about the event in September; at the time it was scheduled for late fall in New York, but ultimately postponed. New York remains the site for the spiel because of its central location for textbooks and publishing, Morris states.
Over half from last year, Apple reveals
The educational service of the iTunes Store, iTunes U, has seen over 600 million downloads so far, Apple has disclosed. Apple rarely discusses iTunes statistics, much less for iTunes U, which provides lectures and other podcast content from schools such as Harvard, MIT and Oxford. Surprisingly, even though iTunes U has been around since 2007, Apple says that over half of the 600 million downloads were made during the past year.
Ledet updates courses for iPad integration
Walden University has expanded its MobileLearn service by releasing content through Apple's iTunes U. The university's new iTunes U page provides students with course content, experiential videos, highlights of Walden students, and a number of other resources for enhancing the student experience. When partaking in MobileLearn-enabled courses, students can access video and audio content from the classroom through iTunes, as well as save the content for offline access. In addition, the university also offers an iOS application that provides access to online classrooms, university messages, a Walden e-mail account, and student support services.
Lays claim to 800 universities
Apple has announced that iTunes U, the educational section of the iTunes Store, has achieved over 300 million downloads. The service offers mostly audio and video material on a variety of topics, produced for and by a host of educational institutions. Over 800 universities are now represented, and roughly 350,000 files are available for download.
Content from over 175 colleges and universities
iTunes U has reportedly surpassed 100 million downloads, according to CNET. Apple claims the most popular content has been hosted by the UK-based Open University. The school provides education to approximately 180,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in a wide variety of programs.
iTunes gets DVS videos
The iTunes U section of the iTunes Store is now featuring the PBS American Experience Presidential biographies as free educational downloads. The six Presidents highlighted include Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, with over 23 hours of documentary video.
Apple expands iTunes U
Apple on Tuesday further expanded its international iTunes U offerings into four new countries: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. According to Macworld, the free resource provides students with access to a wide variety of educational rich media from colleges and universities around the world, including UC Berkeley, University of Melbourne, Texas A&M, MIT, Yale, and Trinity College Dublin, among many others.