Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Apple Creates History with New iBooks Textbooks

"Apple 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, full-screen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, and unrivaled navigation. 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, anyone with a Mac can create iBooks textbooks and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Starting today, iBooks 2 is available free from the App Store and iBooks Author is available free from the Mac App Store"
Textbooks they won’t want to put down. "A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go."

The new iBooks Textbooks is an amazing innovation! I downloaded a couple of samples from the iBooks store, and also the awesome "Life on Earth". My kids and I were totally blown away by the quality of the textbooks, the interactivity and the overall experience! (about the only glitch was iBooks 2 hanging up when you launch the new textbook! But this problem seems to be intermittent.) Last year, when my son and I were driving to Los Angeles, I remember having a conversation with him in the car about how the next generation of eBooks should be interactive... when my son was in middle school, he was aspiring to be a writer (now he loves Physics). So, I was telling him that he should design eBooks that spring out from a reader, as if the story within becomes alive and real! For instance, while you are reading a paragraph, you can tap to make the whole story come to life! Wouldn't that be amazing! With the introduction of iBooks Textbooks, we are getting a whole lot closer!! These iBooks are interactive, intelligent and immersing! Would students learn more from these new iBooks? Would students gain more knowledge in a faster time? Would students with learning disability benefit further from these textbooks? Would teachers enjoy teaching through this new medium? Would iBooks textbooks fundamentally change how education is disseminated and consumed? Lots of intriguing questions will need to be answered in the coming year. Apple has the support of major education publishers. Apple iBooks Textbooks could become the new learning standard, and as history may note, usher in a new era of innovative education!

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