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Published On: Mon, Jul 14th, 2014

iTunes U Update Provides Teachers With More Content Creation Options

iTunes U logo bannerMany schools have already adopted mobile technologies in their daily operations and curricula. Some colleges have even integrated courses about the iPadinto their teaching degree programs, such the University of Iowa. These tablets are becoming staples in education, with teachers using these devices to plan courses, organize grade books, and provide engaging content to their students. Prior to the free iTunes U update, instructors had to create and upload interactive books, audio files, and lecture notes from a desktop computer. Now with iTunes 2.0, educators are able to create and upload these materials directly from the iPad.

Instant Publishing Capabilities

Since the iPad’s debut in 2010, people have used the device to consume a wide variety of material, including digital books, videos, images, and websites. However, many tech experts criticized the iPad for its lack of creation capabilities. This image has been quickly changing, with a wide range of content creation apps appearing in the iOS App Store. Now that iTunes 2.0 has been launched, teachers can update their iTunes U catalog pages and materials directly from the iPad instead of using a computer as a go-between.

Multi App Support

Like many other Apple initiatives, they’ve included updates to their other application suites to integrate the changes to iTunes U. Educators will be able to share their completed Keynote, Numbers, and Pages documents directly to the new iTunes U, so that students can view these files instantly. The Camera and Photos apps are also in on the action, allowing teachers to snap photos and include them within course materials. This dramatically increases the ease of sharing – an instructor could just take a snapshot of students’ work on a whiteboard to save and share it with the entire class.

Student Progress Tracking

Learners who have access to the iTunes U app on their tablets or current iPhones can take part in community discussions. As students work their way through course materials, teachers can track their live progress from the iTunes U app. This can increase overall classroom accountability, since educators will know that each student has reviewed the learning materials for the day.

The education sector is changing rapidly with mobile technologies. Teachers and students are becoming more empowered by collaborative education tools like iTunes U. As more schools dedicate their budgets to classroom technologies, it will be interesting to see how this app updates influence classroom participation moving forward.

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