iTunes U app released for iPad, teachers rejoice

Teacher will soon be able to "do everything on their iPad" as Apple announced this week at their education-based event this week, as iTunes U brings forth a fully interactive set of tools that any teacher, professor, or otherwise leader can use. The user interface is very similar to what iBooks has to offer, this being part of the grander plan to bring all of these education applications into one big experience for the classroom. Inside the iTunes U app, you the teacher are able to set up your classroom experience into categories, each category containing interactive elements such as checklists and the ability to send messages to students and give assignments through the web.

Teachers will be able to work with iBooks notes added by students working with the iBooks 2 app, work with full courses complete with videos, documents, apps, and Textbooks from the iBookstore, and more. The best thing about this app is that it's free, of course. What Apple is doing here is giving the teachers and the students the tools they need to get into the interactive iPad-based world of the future, all of it for free.

In this way, this is the same model that's been being used by video game console manufacturers, for example, for many years, where the actual tool is cheap, but the games cost a bit more. On the other hand, the iBooks Textbooks spoken about here and earlier today are only $14.99 apiece, tops. So let's get into the future of education on the iPad, shall we? As Apple's Phil Schiller says,

"We're really proud of what the teams have done. They've worked so hard on this. They do it because all of us here at Apple know you can empower people through learning. And tech has a role to play in that, that's one of the best things that's built into the culture." – Schiller

We'll be checking out each of the applications that have been shown off at Apple's NYC eduction event this week in turn, but note this: all of them are also available for you to download from iTunes or the Mac App Store today, most of this content completely for free – so have at it!