Apple will be discontinuing iTunes U at the end of 2021, according to a new support document shared by the company today.
Apple says that iTunes U tools have been replaced with next-generation apps for teachers and students, which include Classroom and Schoolwork, plus the Apple School Manager tool.
Apple has been hard at work building the next generation of apps for both teachers and students:
– Classroom turns your iPad into a powerful teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.
– Schoolwork helps teachers save time and maximize each student’s potential by making it easy for teachers to share class materials, get students to a specific activity in an app, collaborate with students, and view student progress.
In addition to Classroom and Schoolwork, Apple also introduced Apple School Manager to enable IT Administrators to easily manage iPads, Macs, Apple TV, Apple IDs, books, and apps, while ensuring data is kept secure and private. Apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, Clips, and Swift Playgrounds have education-specific features that are used regularly by teachers and students.
With this in mind, Apple will discontinue iTunes U at the end of 2021. iTunes U will continue to be available to all existing customers through the 2020-2021 educational year.
According to Apple, iTunes U will be available for the 2020 to 2021 educational year, with support ending in late 2021. For public content publishers, until iTunes U is discontinued, new and existing content will be available publicly, but Apple suggests creators start exploring other options. Current iTunes U users can continue publishing content through Apple Podcasts or Apple Books.
Apple suggests private publishers transition over to the Schoolwork app, and Apple plans to add ClassKit support to iTunes U to make transitioning easy. Materials in iTunes U courses can be transitioned into Schoolwork Handouts, and iTunes U will also get an export feature so those who want to move to third-party apps or Learning Management Systems can do so.
iTunes U has been around since 2007, and was built in to the iTunes app to provide university lectures and learning content from U.S. colleges. iTunes U allowed educators to create courses with audio, media, handouts, ebooks, and more, with the iTunes U app available for users to access their collections on iPhone and iPad.
When Apple started to transition away from iTunes in 2017, iTunes U content was discontinued as a standalone feature and was transitioned into the Podcasts app and the Podcasts section of iTunes. Support for iTunes U has since been dwindling, with Apple instead focusing on new educational tools.