iTunes U gains homework hand-in feature, one-to-one discussions, PDF annotations and more

iUunes U 4.0 for iOS iPad screenshot 001

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.

iTunes U 3.0 for iOS iPad screenshot 003

One-to-one chats, a new discussion feature in iTunes U, lets teachers communicate privately with students.

iTunes U 3.0 for iOS iPad screenshot 004

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 3.0 for iOS iPad screenshot 002

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.

Download iTunes U at no charge in the App Store.

Source: Re/code