iTunes U, Apple’s educational catalog on iTunes, has gotten a whole lot more useful with a significant update to the official iPhone and iPad app in the App Store.
As first reported Thursday by Re/code, iTunes U for iOS has gained an interesting homework hand-in feature and PDF annotations providing a timestamp when the student submits term papers, book reports and other work.
Other changes include an integrated grade book, one-to-one discussions, importing content from third-party apps, including Apple’s own Keynote, Pages and iMovie, and more.
The homework hand-in feature works hand in hand (no pun intended) with an integrated grade book which basically notifies educators when a student’s work is ready for review, or alerts them when it’s time to send a reminder to a student.
One-to-one chats, a new discussion feature in iTunes U, lets teachers communicate privately with students.
And as mentioned before, iTunes U now permits teachers to import content from third-party apps like Explain Everything or Stop Motion Studio into the course materials.
iTunes U started out in 2007 as a repository within iTunes for university video lectures, but has since evolved into a teacher’s powerful classroom companion, especially with more than fifteen million iPads in schools and more than 100,000 educational apps available on the App Store.
iTunes U 3.0 for iOS changelog:
- Students can hand in their homework assignments
- Annotate PDF assignments directly in iTunes U
- Instructors can grade and track student progress with an integrated grade book
- Private one-on-one conversations between students and instructors
- Include multiple attachments per assignment
The 34.6-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.3 or later and is optimized for the iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes.