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Apple launches iTunes U app

You can't run away from your coursework anymore, it's sitting in your pocket – all of it

Apple’s on an education spree today – and having announced iBooks 2 and iBooks Author, it’s graduating to university with the new and improved iTunes U. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s iTunes as we know and love it – but in place of music and movies, you get course notes and lecture slides. No moaning please, it’s character-building.

The all-new iTunes U is getting a dedicated app with redesigned tabs on the right hand side of your course notes – which will include Info, Posts, Notes and Materials.

Posts is the area where teacher can bug you to hand in work or send updates to students, plus assignments sync nicely with iBooks 2 so you know exactly what to read.

The Notes tab in iTunes U pulls in anything you’ve highlighted for re-reading. Materials is where you can buy books, video, audio or apps – if you’re a student with money to burn, that is.

Students can easily see links to videos or apps outside iTunes U – no cats or FPS games though, remember – you’re here to learn. Unless you’re learning about cats or FPS games, in which case go to town.

Enrolling on the course and giving feedback also happen entirely in-app – we just hope the ratings comments match the calibre of the App Store.

It’s clear where Apple’s headed with this – iPad in hand, in theory you’ll be able to sit down and crack on with learning just about anything. And it’s not just a US knowledge frenzy, the app is headed for 123 countries – and of course it’s free.

The big question is, can Apple make online learning cool? Hand your answers to the teacher, and show your working.

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