June 30, 2014 Last Updated 8:35 am

Apple to update iTunes U next week, adding tools to build coursework on the iPad

iTunes U currently offers offer 750,000 free lectures inside the app, but now app will allow for students to follow classroom discussions

The fall usually brings the big news from Apple, but summer is when teachers need to start preparing for the start of school. Because of this, Apple will be unveiling a major change in iTunes U on July 8 when teachers will be able to create and edit course work directly on an iPad. (The announcement also aligns with the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference currently being held in Atlanta .)

iTunesU-appThe new in-app updates will allow for creating coursework directly from iWork and iBooks Author as well as other apps – though the announcement, to be honest, was rather light on real details. Does this mean an actual update to the iTunes U app, for instance, which has not seen an update since December.

Apple recently updated iBooks Author twice for what it said was bug fixes, though the only bug the program seems to consistently have involves previewing files, and has not been fixed so far. Were the two recent updates in preparations for changes in iTunes U, or did they involved iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite?

“Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iTunes U features an amazing selection of academic materials for everyone around the world. Now, with the ability to better manage and discuss educational content, learning becomes even more personalized on iPad.”

Students with an iPad, and enrolled in iTunes U classes, will now be able to follow and participate in classroom discussions though the app. They will also receive push notifications when new topics are initiated.

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