So Apple just finished their Education Event! Phil Schiller hosted the event today and boy did Apple have some pretty great thigns to say about education! 1.5 million iPads are in use in educational programs. Phil began to discuss textbooks, how they have amazing content, but are not optimal for learning as much as they can be. They are heavy, over-sized, and lets face it times are changing. With that being said, Apple decided it was time to revolutionize the textbook! iBooks 2 is the first major announcement of the event. Bringing a better, and more interactive textbook experience to students.
Roger Rosner stepped up to give a brief demo of iBooks 2. The new iBooks 2 will have interactive chapters including 3D models of various learning objects, chapters you can literally “swipe” through, and limitless interaction with students inside the textbooks. “Authors have total freedom to make amazing interactive experiences.” Each textbook will have two completely different reading experiences. One normal for the student who is comfortable with the regular style textbook, and an interactive learning experience for those looking to jazz up their reading material. The new textbooks can include videos and photos as well.
There are even things such as review quiz’s within the book that are interactive and promote healthy learning. These review tests are filled with pictures, multiple choice questions, and even embeddable maps. They seem pretty fun actually. iBooks 2 will also include highlighting, just swipe to highlight! You can also add notes within the chapters, then at the end organize them on virtual 3×5 index cards to study by each chapter!
Directly within iBooks 2 you can purchse and download your textbooks! Phil stepped on the stage again to give a brief overview of the iBooks 2 Demo and announced that iBooks 2 is available today! Roger comes back to show us a demo of iBooks Author, which is the content creation mechanism for producing these awesome interactive textbooks! Drag and Drop interface, allows pictures, video, keynote presentations, widgets, and even Word documents to auto-populate your textbooks content. These are all great features for iBooks Author and interactive textbooks! You also have the ability to directly preview your created book right on a connected iPad for debugging and edits, and publish directly to the Store.
After the iBooks Author Demo Phil steps back on the stage to highlight what has jsut been announced and summarize a bit, “So that’s iBooks Author. It is the most advanced, most powerful and yet most fun interactive authoring tool yet created.” He announces that iBooks Author is FREE! iBooks Author is also available in the App Store starting today, though only available to those currently updated Lion users on 10.7.2.
A couple major partners have jumped on board to help revolutionize this textbook overhaul such as McGraw-Hill, Pearson all making certain important textbooks such as Algebra, and Biology available for $14.99 or less! This is a major game-changer!
Now Eddy Cue comes on stage to talk about iTunes University. Eddy announces that they want to allow teachers to create full online courses via iTunes University. Starting today there is an all new iTunes U App available! Jeff Robbin comes up to give a Demo of the new iTunes U app. Teachers can directly push students updates, homework, and more! Students can take notes, complete assignments, view videos, audio clips, and documents! You can even sign up for courses straight from the iTunes U app! Eddy takes the stage again to summarize and announce that iTunes U is available in 123 countries today, FREE! Shortly after Phil is back, “Apple exists at the intersection of liberal arts and technology, and never has that been more evident… that is true today as it ever has been before.”
“iBooks — reinventing the textbook.”
“iBooks Author — making it free and simple to create interactive books.”
“iTunes U — making it free and simple for anyone to take courses anywhere.”
That concludes Apple’s Education announcement.
Sorry guys, no iPad 3 announcement or even a clue as to when the keynote may be.
But it does look like iBooks – Textbooks will be extremely successful as some of the biggest names in school textbook publishers are in on it from the get go! This will be a revolutionary start to creating better education, in and outside the classroom!