Apple today took the cover off its strategy to shake up the textbook industry. iBooks 2, which comes with support for interactive textbooks, and iBooks Author are pretty exciting developments. However, Apple had a little something else to show off today, too: An app for its already popular iTunes U service. For those not in the know, iTunes U allows schools and students to upload and download educational material such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours. Today's app expands on that service.
"The all-new iTunes U app enables students anywhere to tap into entire courses from the world's most prestigious universities," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "Never before have educators been able to offer their full courses in such an innovative way, allowing anyone who’s interested in a particular topic to learn from anywhere in the world, not just the classroom."
The new iTunes U app lets teachers create and manage courses including essential components such as lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses. Unlike the iTunes U of old, which only allowed access to those in the classroom at the time, iOS users from around the world now have access to free educational content from a whole host of universities, including Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. What's more, starting today, any K-12 school district can offer full courses through the app.
The app is free and is available for download from today.