Apple Updating iTunes U With New Course Creation and Discussion Features for iPad

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
    [​IMG]


    Apple today announced it is updating its iTunes U app with new iPad-related features that'll make it easier for teachers and students to use the tablet device for their online courses. These new features will be available starting July 8th.
    The new app updates will allow teachers to create full courses completely on their iPad by importing content from iWork, iBooks Author or educational apps in the iOS App Store. Teachers also can use the camera on the device to incorporate photos and videos into the course material.

    [​IMG]
    iPad-owning students enrolled in an iTunes U course will benefit from the update with a new discussion feature that allows them to collaborate with both teachers and other students in the class. Students can follow discussions and receive push notifications when new topics are created or new comments are added to an existing discussions.

    The iTunes U app is a free download for the iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link: iTunes U]


    Article Link: Apple Updating iTunes U With New Course Creation and Discussion Features for iPad
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    RobertMartens

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    Tokyo, Japan
  3. macrumors 6502

    Keane16

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    #3
    Good news. One of my favourite things about the Apple ecosystem is all the great free iTunes U content.

    Apple really should advertise it more. So many of my friends have no idea it even exists.
     
  4. macrumors G3

    NT1440

    Joined:
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    #4
    Great news!

    I wish they could make management of documents a bit better on iTunes U, but it's still by far and away my favorite online class program.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #5
    Finally, this app has been ignored for so long...
     
  6. macrumors G3

    NT1440

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    #6
    Indeed, hopefully it'll be a good update considering this is one of the undeniable strengths of the iTunes ecosystem.
     
  7. macrumors member

    MacLawyer

    Joined:
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    #7
    iTunes U

    Great!

    Now please iTunes streaming actually work with stopping mid-movie. :(
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    #8
    This is very nice, but it is utopian, that the whole class have an iDevice. I know, they can use a PC with iTunes on it but a Android-, Windows or even a Web-Version of iTunes U would make this thing really serious.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

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  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #10
    This thing is already "serious" without Windows or Android. And what the heck do you mean by utopian? Apple makes their hardware and software so that you can have nice things like iTunes U. If Windows or Android wants their users to have nice things like iTunes U well then they need to actually spend some time and effort like Apple is doing for their users. That's not utopian, that's how the real world works and how products and services have been sold since the beginning of time.

    It just really bothers me that people expect Apple to make their really nice software and services available to the competition and they are somehow wrong or something if they don't. Apple's model is not about taking away as much of people's privacy and personal data as possible and sharing it with 3rd party companies. They are about building the best products, services, and experiences for their users so they will keep buying Apple hardware. So they have little to no incentive to put their software and services on other platforms.

    It's like saying Toyota's engines are "utopian" because you can only enjoy them in a Toyota car and they should allow Ford owners to have their engines. No. If you wanted a Toyota engine, you should have bought a Toyota vehicle.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

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  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    #12
    I could see Apple expanding their education program. For instance, incorporating iCloud in a way so that a school can be allotted a certain number of iCloud accounts for students, so that they can access their class-related iTunes U content from the web, which they can upload coursework to, have access to iWork in the Cloud and so on. Perhaps iOS could be updated to allow users to sign in with their class account and access certain apps the school provides at no extra cost, so long as the student is still enrolled.

    The way Apple is going with pushing their products into education, it's only a matter of time before this becomes a reality.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
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    Utopia
    #13
    The Pontiac Vibe was a rebadged Toyota Matrix. But I get and agree with your point.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Parasprite

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    #14
    Ahh iTunes U, the hidden gem of the Apple ecosystem. Good to see they haven't forgotten about it.

    Anyone with a job that has hours of fairly mindless work with little or no human interaction (overnight stocker, truck drivers, etc.) should pick up few things they are ingested in in this great library of free content.

    For those with a lot of money (or certain downloading programs I won't name here) should check out the The Great Courses series of lectures as well (not on iTunes AFAIK). Seth Lerer's "History of the English Language" is a personal favourite of mine. :)

    ----------

    Do you mean that thing it does where for some reason it stops sending the stream mid-movie for no explicable reason and you have to...sort of... exit out of the movie and open it back up (the digital equivalent of kicking a broken TV)?

    Yeah, never quite figured out what causes that one way or the other. :confused:
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #15
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/30/la-school-tablet-scheme-laptops

    One area Apple could improve is the education sector. They're getting a lot of districts buying iPads because of the great app store and let's face it, the ubiquitous nature of the iPad. They need to up their security and administration capabilities as those pale in comparison to Windows which has honed them over decades of use in businesses and schools. Apple also has another competitor in this area with Google's Chromebooks, which have the benefit of being lower cost than anything Apple makes and Google touts the ability to easily manage the devices across a network/school district. Google is really lacking the app area though but for the simple uses like Internet research and paper composition, they obviously work fine.
     
  16. macrumors G3

    NT1440

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #16
    Can you elaborate a bit?

    iOS has been making massive improvements in business security and the mass deployment management system (MDM) is very powerful.

    They've made it even better in iOS8, but can you elaborate on what you find easier/better on windows that Apple doesn't provide? :confused:
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    London, UK
    #17
    Perhaps it will be released with iOS 8 beta 3, and will become a stock app? :apple:
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #18
    I'm a 3rd grade teacher and am going by what tech guy at my school has told me, which is basically that the iPad security measures are more easily bypassed by savvy students than those in the Windows computers we have in one of the the computer labs (We do have a Mac lab running OSX as well). Windows and OSX have more refined security measures than those currently present in iOS, at least according to the aforementioned Tech guy at the school where I teach.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    NT1440

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #19
    Yea…That guy hasn't done his homework in setting up a mass deployment.

    I've been researching this for a few weeks now as I'm responsible (along with two others) for maintaining the 400+ macs and 25+ iPads on campus here.

    If you're going to just hand out iPads without actually managing them, then yes students can do whatever the hell they want. IF you actually do your job as an IT professional, then I don't get the point. MDM is extremely fine grained in terms of options, and iOS 8 just stepped it up a whole new level. Tell that guy to get a free developer account and watch some of the WWDC MDM videos from this year AND 2013 (iOS 7). It sounds like he's just completely unaware of the measures out there.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #20
    I feel like this will come with the integration of iCloud Drive in iOS 8. It seems like a perfect fit. They probably want to keep 3rd party members such as Dropbox out hoping to get people to sign up for more storage in iCloud Drive.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #21

    So my school district is wasting money paying that guy? Figures. He never has seemed particularly tech savvy, which is kind of important when that is his job. Does your campus have Chromebooks or interest in getting them? What do you know about that platform? I know that my district has discussed deploying them as well as iPads but personally it seems like overkill to me.
     
  22. macrumors G3

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #22
    I just deployed 15 this week for a weeklong class. For those we didn't really put any restraints on them as each person was going to tie it to their gmail account. There are options but I haven't looked into them. I'm the Apple technician here so I don't normally deal with the Windows/Android/Chrome OS side of things.

    I wouldn't say they're wasting their money. It's always different for each campus/school system so there may be different protocols (or just the boss saying "do it this way"). I would bring up the MDM program to him, if he takes the initiative to look into it and propose adopting it, or lays out why it won't work then I'd say he's doing just fine. It may be a matter of simply not knowing.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    #23
    I believe what he meant by utopian, was that it is highly unlikely everyone in the class with be able to make full use of iTunes U because some people will have other OS's on their various devices. While I completely agree that Apple is well within their right to limit their software to their devices, I would argue, that on the consumption side, that software also needs to be available on multiple platforms. Think iTunes for Windows (without that the iPod would not likely have become what it did). So yes, Apple should continue to make creation software exclusive to Apple devices to control the overall quality and experience, but if they want to make that software truly useful, then they have to allow the consumption of the created material on multiple OS's.

    And Apple is headed that way, I believe. Google Docs used to be the only way to go for online collaboration. Now, with iCloud, you can go cross platform enough to make it (mildly) useable for those without an Apple device.

    Lastly, please don't compare Fords to Toyotas as if Toyotas are the Apple (i.e. premium brand) of the car market. They have exactly zero cars on this years customer satisfaction survey. :D
    http://autos.jdpower.com/ratings/index.htm
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    #24
    While I understand your point, if I am teaching a class and let say based on market share that 75% of my students are on an android device. If I want students to have mobile access to my content, I can't use iTunes U.

    I teach some online courses via blackboard, and that thing is terrible.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Location:
    minneapolis
    #25
    Yes Apple: Please develop something really cool and then give it away to your competitors just like Google and Microsoft... Oh, wait ! Never mind.
     

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