Today Apple introduced what could be the future of education at a special keynote event in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The new digital textbooks along with iBooks Author were launched by Senior Apple VP Phil Schiller. The new iBooks 2 app for iPad now supports High School textbooks from well known education learning companies like McGraw Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin & Harcourt. These interactive eBooks offer stunning and immersive educational experiences for students and provide such titles as Algebra 1, Biology, Environmental Science, Geometry and Physics.
Meanwhile DK publishing have also produced digital textbooks for younger students with Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life, Natural History Insects, Natural History Animals and My First ABCs. With incredibly engaging layouts and dynamic content this could be the next phase of learning particularly when you consider the advantages of an iPad over traditional paper books. The popular tablet computer from Apple does away with the need for having a stack of heavy textbooks in a student’s backpack. The device is lightweight, thin and doesn’t suffer from the wear and tear that paper books go through. eBooks can be searched through, they’re interactive and content can be kept updated. However I would still raise questions over whether an iPad with its backlit display and glare is an ideal device for reading for long periods of time. Particularly when you consider the Amazon Kindle’s more suitable greyscale display. iBooks textbooks are available to purchase for as little as $14.99 from the new Textbooks store in iBooks 2.
Additionally Apple unveiled their new iBooks author app, which allows you to easily and quickly create your own eBooks. This Mac Application is available for free from the Mac App Store and bares a slight resemblance to the late iWeb App. With drag and drop simplicity pictures and content can be assembled seamlessly into your own eBook. Interactive widgets and customizable contextual menus can also be integrated. Apple supplies their own beautifully designed templates for you to begin your eBook creations from or you can of course start from scratch with your own designs. Furthermore existing Microsoft Word or Pages documents can be transformed into books with automatic compression and format processing. When you’ve completed your eBook you can then preview it on a connected iPad before submitting it to the bookstore. This will certainly go along way in helping smaller publishers to get their titles on the market in a much easier way then current methods.
The full Apple keynote video is available to watch by clicking here.