updated 11:30 am EST, Thu January 19, 2012
Broadens focus to include K-12 schools
Complementing its introduction of iBooks 2, Apple has also announced a separate iTunes U app. While superficially resembling iBooks, the title is capable of presenting complete online courses, including syllabi, reading material, media, and interactive content. Teachers can update courses with bulletins, such as new assignments, which trigger notifications for students. When an assignment is done, a student can mark it as complete.
Notetaking is integrated with iBooks 2. Course materials can be bought inside iTunes U, if necessary, through a catalog that includes ratings, descriptions, and outlines, and the ability to subscribe to new courses. Apple notes that iTunes U has also been opened up to K-12 schools, where previously it was intended mainly for a college and university audience.
Course content can notably include books, documents, apps, and web links, as well as video, which can either be streamed or downloaded directly to a device. The iTunes U app is already live at the App Store, and requires iOS 5.