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Apple iBooks 2 textbooks

Today Apple held the education event that it sent out invites for last week, and as expected the Cupertino firm used its time on stage to focus on textbooks. The first thing that Apple announced was iBooks 2, a new version of its e-book platform. iBooks 2 brings with it support for textbooks that includes interactive elements, video, multitouch gestures and note taking. Users will also be able to highlight words and create note cards for studying purposes. As far as actual content goes, Apple has partnered with and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill and Pearson, a group of firms that are responsible for 90 percent of all textbooks. Pricing for high school text books will be set at $14.99 or less. iBooks 2 itself is a free download from the App Store and is available today.

In order to help aid in the creation all of these textbooks that Apple hopes will be used on its iPads, the company also revealed its iBooks Author tool. Available for free today in the Mac App Store, the iBooks Author app aims to make putting together an interactive e-book easy with a lot of dragging and dropping, though folks with knowledge of Javascript and HTML5 will be able to create more customizable items such as widgets. After putting together a shiny new e-book, authors will be able to publish their works right to the iBookstore. Books will also be able to be updated by their authors.

The final item unveiled by Apple today is a new iTunes U app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Launching today, the free app has an iBooks-like look and will offer course content such as syllabi, assignments, videos, teacher updates and presentations. The iTunes U app will also feature integration with notes taken in the aforementioned iBooks app. iTunes U is now available for download in the App Store.

Overall Apple seems to have unveiled some pretty spiffy tools to help students learn and get more from their textbooks, and iBooks Author should make it easier for the folks creating those textbooks to make their products more enticing to those students. However, iPads aren't exactly the cheapest thing in the world, and Apple's new tools won't do much for students and schools that can't afford them. It'd be interesting to see the company create some kind of program to get iPads to schools for a deep discount, but so far there's been no word on such a move from Apple. What do you all make of today's announcements?

Apple Reinvents Textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad

New iBooks Author Lets Anyone Create Stunning iBooks Textbooks

NEW YORK—January 19, 2012—Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don't weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore? with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks. 

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store™. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of the finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new iBooks 2 app lets students study and learn in more efficient and effective ways than ever before. 

iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Authors and publishers of any size can start creating with Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. iBooks Author lets you add your own text and images by simply dragging and dropping, and with the Multi-Touch™ widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote® presentations and 3D objects. 

Apple today also announced an all-new iTunes® U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. With the new iTunes U app, students using iPads have access to the world’s largest catalog of free educational content, along with over 20,000 education apps at their fingertips and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBookstore that can be used in their school curriculum, such as novels for English or Social Studies.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store.

*Some content is available only for iPad.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.


Apple Unveils All-New iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch

Entire Courses from Top Universities Now Available in One App

NEW YORK—January 19, 2012—Apple® today announced an all-new iTunes® U app, giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. The all-new iTunes U app lets teachers create and manage courses including essential components such as lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses and offer them to millions of iOS users around the world. The iTunes U app gives iOS users access to the world’s largest catalog of free educational content from top universities including Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, and starting today any K-12 school district can offer full courses through the iTunes U app. iTunes U has already become an incredibly popular learning tool for students with over 700 million downloads. 

“The all-new iTunes U app enables students anywhere to tap into entire courses from the world's most prestigious universities,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Never before have educators been able to offer their full courses in such an innovative way, allowing anyone who’s interested in a particular topic to learn from anywhere in the world, not just the classroom.”

Prior to iTunes U, only students in the classroom at that time had access to educational content from top universities. With the iTunes U app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, those barriers no longer exist. Students anywhere can take an entire course with complete access to all course materials right at their fingertips. With the iTunes U app, students are able to access new books right from within the app, and any notes taken in iBooks® are consolidated for easy reviewing. In addition to reading books, viewing presentations, lectures and assignment lists, students can receive push notifications so they always have the latest class information.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store™.

Educators can quickly and easily create, manage and share their courses, quizzes and handouts through a web-based tool and utilize content and links from the iTunes U app, the Internet, iBookstore? or the App Store as part of their curriculum. They can also upload and distribute their own documents such as Keynote®, Pages®, Numbers® or books made with iBooks Author.

*Some content is available only for iPad.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Via The Verge


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