This week, Apple has updated its iTunes U app so now any teacher can create his or her own private course. iTunes U is an app for both K-12 and higher ed that acts as a course management system, allowing teachers to create courses that allow students to access video or audio lectures, classroom notes, assignments, and e-textbooks and iBooks.
Previously, teachers had to go through Apple’s verification process in order to add their lectures to the library of audio and video files on the app. Now in version 1.2, teachers can create up to 12 of their own private courses. In order to publish public courses, teachers will still have to go through Apple’s verification process.
The new version of the app has an improved search feature, which allows students to take notes while listening to lectures and then search the notes later. Students can also search posts, assignments, notes, and other materials from any subscribed course.
Since its launch in January, iTunes U has been downloaded 14 million times. Seven hundred K-12 schools and 125 colleges and universities have enrolled in the iTunes U program, with higher ed institutions offering more than 750 courses since January.
The iTunes U app is the world’s largest online catalog of free education content and can be accessed on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Using the app, students can access lectures from schools such as Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, and institutions such as MoMA and the New York Public Library.