Apple made news again by unveiling iBooks2, an updated and enhanced version of Its iBook software that brings to life interactive textbooks, and iBooks Author, a new app that “makes it free and simple to create interactive textbooks for the iPad”, and a new iTunes U aimed squarely at higher education. This app integrates with the new iBooks app and more than 100 courses created by universities around the world are available. Notably, iBooks is only available on the iPhone or iPad. According to Joshua Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab in his article “The day the bookshelf shook: Four lessons for news orgs from today’s Apple iBooks announcements”:
One of the standout new textbooks announced today was E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, the Harvard professor’s attempt to rethink the biology textbook. Aside from what wisdom it will bring about the Mesozoic Era, perhaps its most interesting element is that it is being released chapter by chapter. The first two chapters are available for download now; the remaining ones will be available later at an “aggressive” price.
What does this mean for education? As an Apple Financial Services partner we believe that today’s announcement will drive an even greater demand for and use of the iPad in schools. Over the last two years we are leasing in increasing number of iPads to our charter school customers . Forrester agrees with our assessment of the growing demand for iPads in the classroom. In their blog post about today’s announcement, Forrester reports that “the iPad –which now outsells Macs in schools, according to Apple—is capable of much more than what has previously been produced.” Looks like Apple is intent on reinventing how our students learn.