Apple Announces iBooks 2

THIS IS HUGE! Apple partnered with Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to reinvent the textbook as we know it using iBooks 2. (Read more here.)

Engadget’s Daniel Cooper describes it as being “able to paw through content, stopping to flick through detailed 3D animated models of elements within, [and] access video and definitions without leaving the page.”

Apple claims that right now, 1.5 million iPads are in use in educational programs today with over 20,000 apps. In fact, the idea of eBooks aren’t new either—some educators have integrated eBooks into general curriculum, as this student satirically demonstrates by lamenting over his printed textbook from a video in 2009.

The reason today’s news is so exciting is because the publisher support opens so many more doors. Textbook content will be more accessible and affordable ($14.99 or less)! Engadget Editor Tim Stevens says, “I don’t think there’s ever been a textbook that made it this easy to be a good student.”

If that part was the yummy cake, here is the incredibly delicious icing: Teachers can create their own books using a new OS X program called iBooks Author. Aside from requiring a mac to use it, the program itself is completely free! Educators can re-format and digitize their existing materials for any genre with easy-to-use templates.

The announcement of iBooks 2 also has implications for the future of iTunes U.

Although technology can’t solve the education problem, as Steve Jobs famously noted, this announcement implies a shake-up to the educational experience and puts more power back into the learner’s hands. As a mom of a young child, this news will generate a lot of excitement in our household for years to come!

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Posted on January 19, 2012, in commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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