Apple has just announced several significant new features for iTunes U, its iOS app that offers access to complete courses from leading universities and schools along with other types of free educational digital content.

The new features are expected to come to iTunes U through a major update next week.

With the update, teachers using iTunes U can, for the first time, create, edit and manage entire courses right on iPad, thereby giving educators full course creation capabilities on Apple’s tablet. Teachers can directly add content and learning materials from iWork, iBooks Author, or any of the tens of thousands of educational apps for iPad. They can also use the tablet’s camera to easily add photos and videos to their courses.

The upcoming iTunes U update also brings new features for students. These give students who are using iPads and enrolled in private iTunes U courses new ways to collaborate with their classmates and teachers:

With Discussions in the iTunes U app, students can automatically follow classroom discussions and join conversations on new topics, or set up push notifications for when new topics are started or replies are added to active exchanges. Teachers can participate in forums too, and have the ability to moderate discussions by removing any off-topic messages or replies.

These new tools for building and experiencing educational content on iPad are coming to iTunes U via an update on Tuesday, July 8.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 7.0 or later, iTunes U is available on the App Store for free.