January 27, 2012

Briefly: iTunes U support, first Netherlands Apple Store

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 07:35 PM EST (04:35 PM PST)
Apple rolls out a support page for the newly refreshed iTunes U and the Netherlands puts the final touches on its first Apple Store located in Amsterdam.

iTunes U support page

Apple on Monday opened the digital doors to its iTunes U support page, giving educators and students access to information about the company’s recently-retooled educational suite.

The section is not yet as robust as other Apple support pages, but the information provided gives a somewhat brief overview of the program’s various apps, publishing and course management tools. Support sections include a “Welcome” page, “Using iTunes U,” “iTunes Course Manager” and iTunes U Public Site Manager.”

In addition to the Apple-provided information, forums have also been created for both students and instructors to facilitate a support community.

iTunes U was announced in a Jan. 19 Apple event and has expanded from a selection of podcasts in the iTunes Music Store to a new way for schools to create and disseminate information. The revamped system has an iOS app that handles class materials, a syllabus and even teachers’ schedules.

Apple is looking to tie iBooks 2, also announced at the recent event, into iTunes U to create a one-stop-shop ecosystem where students can sign up for courses, buy and manage materials and connect with teachers.

First Dutch Apple Store

Thanks to blustery Netherlands weather, a tarp covering the entryway of what is to be the country’s first Apple Store was blown away(machine translation) on Sunday, giving the public a sneak peek of the outlet that is scheduled to open in February, reports Dutch language Apple blog iPhoneclub.

The Leidseplein Square location in Amsterdam will apparently sport a spiral glass staircase leading up to the store’s second floor, which is covered by a glass pyramid as in Apple outlet in the Louvre.

The blog also claims that it has received reports from the building’s cleaning company that employees are being trained for a a mid-February opening, however the rumors are unconfirmed.


Apple publishes iTunes U support pages

Another piece of the Apple education puzzle has fallen into place. The company has published a set of special iTunes U support web pages to help with questions from users of the new iTunes U app, from teachers who are using the iTunes U Course Manager, and from administrators who use the iTunes U Public Site Manager.

The iTunes U app support pages provide information on how to use the new app or access iTunes U through iTunes on Mac or PC.

According to Apple, “iTunes U Course Manager is a web-based tool that allows instructors to create and distribute courses on iTunes U. Instructors at K12 school districts as well as colleges and universities whose institutions have an iTunes U site can get access to iTunes U Course Manager through their iTunes U Public Site Manager administrator.” As you’d expect, the support pages for iTunes U Course Manager are quite a bit more detailed than those for the iTunes U app, and cover everything from creating an instructor profile to editing a course.

Finally, the pages for iTunes U Public Site Manager (the tool that iTunes U site administrators use to manage their public content within the iTunes Store) cover the gamut from system requirements to marketing a public site and creating a properly-formatted feed.

The new support pages are a good way for students, educators, and administrators seeking information about iTunes U to start getting answers from the source.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple Adds iTunes U Support Section To Its Website

Apple Adds iTunes U Support Section To Its WebsiteFollowing the release of iTunes U for iOS last week, Apple has introduced a new support section to its website that is aimed at students and teachers who are interested in adopting the new app. The support notes cover things like creating new iTunes U course, creating course podcasts, and marketing your institution’s content.Thanks to the new iTunes U app, schools can now manage their courses, syllabus, and more directly on an iOS device, and students can manage their own materials. These are things that previously weren’t available outside of iTunes or a web browser, so the new support information is likely to be very handy to many new iTunes U users.

The site offers step-by-step guides on how to use iTunes U Course Manager, iTunes U Public Site Manager, and a number of iTunes U features.

If you’ve been struggling to get your head around the new app, you might want to check out the support section.

[via Macgasm]

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

Colleges enthused as iTunes classes go live

There’s a pretty high level of excitement flowing from Thursday’s arrival of the iTunes U app. Harvard University is now adding its science + cooking lectures from its school of Engineering and Science for what will likely be an interesting public offering. Titles like ‘Olive Oil and Viscosity’ and ‘Meat Glue Mania’ sound intriguing.

Anyone with an iPad or iPhone can use the app and access the free classes on iTunes U. Having this new standalone app should be a boon to users and educators. The Inside Higher Ed website is highlighting material from Harrisburg Community College, where there are free courses in differential equations and astronomy. It’s the first iTunes U offering from a community college.

Apple approached some major educational institutions last year to start preparing the courses, and the app contains content from places like Duke, Cornell and Yale universities. Older versions of iTunes U, introduced in 2006, offered audio and video podcasts, but this new app provides self-contained courses allowing users to download handouts and worksheets they can reference while listening to a recorded lecture.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

iTunes graduates into separate iOS app

Announced today at Apple’s education event, iTunes U — a long-standing feature of the iTunes Store — is now a separate application (universal) for iOS devices running iOS 5.

Since 2006, iTunes U has been a way to electronically distribute class lectures. Both Berkeley and Stanford have released courses on iTunes U, as have many other schools. Now, the iTunes U app offers lectures from a wide variety of high-powered schools, plus more.

Apple demonstrated a course overview, required credits, a syllabus, and office hours this morning. We also saw a place for posts from teachers so there’s an easy way to update the class, and a spot where students can take notes. Tapping on an assignment automagically takes a student straight to the specific materials in iBooks, and there’s even a task list for students to cross off items as they are completed.

iTunes U is a free application for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, available now.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple releases iTunes 10.5.3 with iBooks 2 textbook syncing

By Sam Oliver

Published: 11:55 AM EST (08:55 AM PST)
iTunes 10.5.3 was released by Apple on Thursday, bringing support for the new iBooks 2 application for iOS and allowing users to sync their textbook purchases.

The new version of iTunes is available for download direct from Apple. It is a 102.15MB installer for Mac OS X, 66.11MB for Windows 32-bit, and 67.98MB for Windows 64-bit.

“iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive textbooks to your iPad,” Apple’s description reads. “These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.”

The release of iTunes 10.5.3 comes as Apple on Thursday launched the new iBooks 2 for iPad. The major focus of iBooks 2 are new digital titles for education that Apple hopes will reinvent the textbook.

Apple’s e-textbooks are much less expensive than their paper-based counterparts, priced at $ 14.99 or less from major publishers like McGraw Hill, Pearson, and DK Publishing. The digital titles are interactive and allow students and teachers new functionality like videos, slideshows and multiple-choice quizzes.

The creation of iBooks for iPad has also been greatly simplified with Apple’s new iBooks Author tool for Mac OS X. The new, free software available on the Mac App Store can take a file like a Word document and turn it into text formatted for iBooks 2.


Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.3 With Support For Textbook Syncing To iPad

Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.3 With Support For Textbook Syncing To iPad

Following the launch of iBooks 2 and the introduction of textbooks to the iBookstore, Apple has pushed out iTunes update 10.5.3 with support for textbook syncing to the iPad.

The update is available to download now from Apple’s website, but is yet to hit Software Update. It’s available for both Mac and Windows PCs. Here are Apple’s release notes:

iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive iBooks textbooks to your iPad. These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.

iBooks textbooks are created with iBooks Author — now available as a free download on the Mac App Store.

It looks like this update is necessary for textbook syncing, so if you’ve been struggling to install new textbooks on your iPad since they launched this morning, you might want to install this and try again.

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

iTunes 10.5.3 now available, adds iBooks 2 textbook sync

Apple has released iTunes 10.5.3 for Mac and Windows. As of this writing, it’s available from Apple’s site, but not Software Update.

As noted by MacStories, the new version adds support for synchronizing the iBooks 2-savvy textbook format announced during today’s education event.

It’s been an exciting day for Apple fans, especially those in education, as the company has released a new version of iBooks, a full-on textbook initiative and all-new apps iBooks Author and iTunes U.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

iTunes U for iPad offers full courses, teacher updates, class enrollment

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 11:01 AM EST (08:01 AM PST)
The new iTunes U application for iPad unveiled by Apple on Thursday will allow college students to view course materials, receive updates from their teachers, and even sign up for classes.

In its presentation to the press, Apple showed off an online course from Duke for “Core Concepts in Chemistry.” In the iTunes U application, students can get an overview of the course, view teacher details, obtain the class syllabus, and even access information like the teacher’s office hours.

The iTunes U application for iPad has sections for “Info,” “Posts,” “Notes” and “Materials.” In the “Posts” section, teachers can provide updates to students, including assignments.

The assignments can even be context sensitive, allowing a student to tap on it and automatically be sent to the appropriate section of a textbook in iBooks. When an assignment is completed, it can be crossed off of the included task list.

In the “Notes” tab, users can access and modify their class notes, even highlighting certain text. And the “Materials” tab shows off all of the material for a course, including textbooks, videos, audio, and documents.

The iTunes U application will even allow students to sign up for courses from directly within the software. Courses and professors can even be rated through iTunes U for iPad.

While books and applications required for courses do have costs, the iTunes U application itself is free and now available on the iPad App Store. Participating schools that have had early access to the software are Duke, Yale, Harrisburg Area Community College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Open University.


iTunes Match to open to more Latin American countries, Europe

A check of the iTunes Match availability page shows that Apple has launched the service in 19 new countries, with focus on Latin America and Europe. As of today, Apple has enabled iTunes Match for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

That takes the total number of countries with availability to 37. Additionally, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands now have access to iTunes in the Cloud compatibility for music and music videos, a first for those customers. Enjoy, folks!

[Via MacRumors]

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog