Education app of the week: iTunes U gets major update

Apple have just announced a massive new update to iTunes U, now including in-app homework submission, integrated grade books and PDF annotation. So this week, we’re revisiting one of our favourite and most used education apps for iPad…

What is iTunes U for iPad?

You’re probably already fairly familiar with iTunes U (Apple, free), an app which both collates a wide range of educational materials from institutions around the world, and lets teachers create their own custom courses using digital textbooks, videos, and apps, to share with students. The app was first launched way back in 2007 (we covered its last iteration before on the blog here), but this 2015 update brings a number of very exciting new features, including:

• Students can now hand in their homework assignments.

• You can now annotate PDF assignments directly in iTunes U.

• Teachers can grade work and track student progress with an integrated grade book.

• New private one-to-one feedback between students and instructors.

• Ability to include multiple attachments per assignment.

iTunes U on iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

The major benefit of the new update to iTunes U is the homework submission aspect. Any student can now hand in their assignments directly from iPad, which makes the whole process much easier. The submitted work also features a time stamp, so teachers can makes sure it’s all in on time too.

What’s the best feature?

Another feature we can see being very useful for teachers is the addition of integrated grade books. This allows course instructors to associate a mark and score to an assignment and keep track of pupil grades. The course instructor will receive an alert whenever an assignment is received, and there are now tools for sending reminders to students who are failing to turn in their work, which makes it easier to keep track of student progress. Students can even annotate worksheets directly within the iTunes U app.

Where can I get it?

If you already have iTunes U (and have iOS 8.3 or later installed on your device), you can get the new features by updating the app through the App Store on your iPad. Alternatively download iTunes U (Apple, free) from the App Store or here on iTunes.

– Missed last week’s app review? Check out Chirp for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


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