Apple revamps iTunes U and intros dedicated app (video)

A facelift for iBooks wasn't the only change on Apple's agenda today, as the company's SVP Eddy Cue has just announced an overhaul of iTunes U. The service, mostly used as a means of delivering lectures to college students, has seen over 700 million downloads since its launch and is now gearing up to offer full online courses from the likes of Duke University, Yale, MIT, amongst others.

As an example of this new remote method of learning, the company demoed a Chemistry course at its event, showing an overview, syllabus, credits and even the professor's office hours. Tabs are placed along the right side of page with options for Info, Posts, Notes and Materials, allowing teachers to send updates direct to the app and students the ability to jot down important highlights. Wondering about integration? A simple tap on these pushed assignments will transport students direct to iBooks, where their specific coursework lies in wait and, once completed, can be crossed off on the provided task list.

The app can even be used for course registration, eliminating the frenzied rush typically associated with such events. It's all available to download on the App Store right now at no cost in 123 countries. So, if you're on Apple's participating list of schools and you're rocking an iPad, go ahead and get to virtually cracking those books.

Update: We've got our hands-on video up of the new iTunes U application!

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Apple Unveils All-New iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch
Entire Courses from Top Universities Now Available in One App

NEW YORK-January 19, 2012-Apple® today announced an all-new iTunes® U app, giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. The all-new iTunes U app lets teachers create and manage courses including essential components such as lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses and offer them to millions of iOS users around the world. The iTunes U app gives iOS users access to the world's largest catalog of free educational content from top universities including Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, and starting today any K-12 school district can offer full courses through the iTunes U app. iTunes U has already become an incredibly popular learning tool for students with over 700 million downloads.

"The all-new iTunes U app enables students anywhere to tap into entire courses from the world's most prestigious universities," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "Never before have educators been able to offer their full courses in such an innovative way, allowing anyone who's interested in a particular topic to learn from anywhere in the world, not just the classroom."

Prior to iTunes U, only students in the classroom at that time had access to educational content from top universities. With the iTunes U app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, those barriers no longer exist. Students anywhere can take an entire course with complete access to all course materials right at their fingertips. With the iTunes U app, students are able to access new books right from within the app, and any notes taken in iBooks® are consolidated for easy reviewing. In addition to reading books, viewing presentations, lectures and assignment lists, students can receive push notifications so they always have the latest class information.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store™.

Educators can quickly and easily create, manage and share their courses, quizzes and handouts through a web-based tool and utilize content and links from the iTunes U app, the Internet, iBookstore℠ or the App Store as part of their curriculum. They can also upload and distribute their own documents such as Keynote®, Pages®, Numbers® or books made with iBooks Author.

*Some content is available only for iPad.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.