The iTunes U app handles a lot of this. It’s half an LMS—the good half. It handles the distribution of information and course content but it makes no attempt to verify the learner’s progress. That’s rightly a teacher’s job, not a machine’s job. Education is not a production line and our children should not be reduced to Stakhanovite drones working through machine-driven education.

Historically, it has been difficult to get access to publishing through iTunes U. The system was set up to allow a small number of universities and other large institutions to publish content to the store. One of the biggest procedural changes to the system is that individual K-12 schools will now be able to publish courses to iTunes U. In a world where teachers have iBooks Author on their Macs and iPads in their classrooms, easy access to a publishing platform like iTunes U is the missing third leg of the stool.

With iTunes U, Apple has solved the problem of communicating the learning journey. It’s no longer “read this PDF, then watch these videos.” Courses can now contain audio, video, documents, links to iOS apps and iBooks. There’s deep integration between iBooks and iTunes U through which notes and highlights from a book can be reviewed in the iTunes U app. This may be an effective way for smaller schools to provide an LMS without having to subscribe to a commercial service like Blackboard or handle the installation of an open source LMS like Moodle.

Apple’s announcements further iPad revolution in education | Macworld Fraser Speirs via Twitter / @gordonmckinlay: I agree with @fraserspeirs ….

Scottish Primary schools are not textbook heavy, iTunes U might be a lot more useful than iBooks as a TextBook replacement.

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