I’ve been using iTunesU for several years in my courses at gardner-Webb University. I love the simplicity and the fact that it just seems to work. However, I’ve been waiting on a few features to really make it my complete education portal for classes.
This summer, Apple has upgraded iTunesU and has added three areas that i considered lacking for the portal – student submissions of assignments, grading, and import apps to use within the portal. WOW!
With the new version of iTunesU, students will be able to turn in assignments from their iPads with a timestamp which will record when the student submits their work. Additionally, Apple has added an integrated grade book alerting professors when a student’s work is submitted or if it’s late and the professor needs to send a reminder.
ITunesU also allows professors to insert educational apps from Apple or third-party developers into the course materials. That means I’ll be able to utilize apps such as Explain Everything or Stop Motion Studio inside iTunesU.
There are also discussion boards available to increase student engagement and allow students who may not normally speak up in a regular classroom setting the ability to express their thoughts and questions on the discussion boards.
For me, this allows me to not need Blackboard for anything and gives the monster portal maker a run for their money if you are using iPads in the classroom. My students dislike Blackboard and I’m sure are going to be ecstatic about the changes to iTunesU.