Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Apple Will Now Let Any Teacher Publish Content to iTunes U

Apple is upping its bid for its hot-selling iPad to be a teaching device, with an update today to its iTunes U app that allows any teacher to create a private course.

The new features, aimed at K-12 teachers who use iPads in the classroom, allow teachers to create up to 12 private courses. Within each course, teachers can point students to curriculum across lots of different (mostly Apple-powered) media such as iBooks, textbooks, apps, videos and Pages and Keynote documents.

The new iTunes U also includes a tool for students to take timestamped notes inside a video.

Previously, teachers had to go through a verification process to add their lectures to Apple’s repository — which over the past six years has accumulated 500,000 audio and video files from 1,000 universities, with 700 million total downloads. Teachers still have to be verified to publish public courses.

The dedicated iTunes U app is just six months old; it has been downloaded 14 million times. At the same time, iPad sales to the education market are ramping up.

But the new iTunes U isn’t a total course management tool — for instance, there’s no student information system or grade book. And it’s not a replacement for actual conversations between students and teachers.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald