Apple will discontinue iTunes U in favor of Classroom and Schoolwork apps

Apple will sunset iTunes U in 2021.

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Apple has been ramping up its offerings for remote learning.

James Martin/CNET

Apple will discontinue its iTunes U app for remote education at the end of 2021, replacing it with the newer Schoolwork and Classroom apps, the tech giant said Wednesday on its support page.

The move doesn't come as a surprise: iTunes U hasn't received a feature update since 2017. And as most schools moved online during the coronavirus pandemic, the Schoolwork app recently got an upgrade to let teachers manage assignments and information for students remotely through the cloud. Meanwhile, the Classroom app can also turn the iPad into a teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through lessons and track progress.

Teachers and students still using iTunes U -- which had 1 billion downloads back in 2013, most of which were outside the US -- will be able to continue doing so during the 2020-21 school year, but will have to move any content over to Schoolwork by the end of the academic year. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Apple has made a number of remote education moves, including the creation of a remote learning resource site, an education video series and coaching sessions on teaching for educators and parents. It also improved its iCloud collaboration capabilities to let people share entire folders and added features to its iWork software, like the ability to edit offline. 

For more, check out K-12 online classes and activities to continue school at home during coronavirus

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