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Apple transforms textbooks for iPad with iBooks 2

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Apple has announced a new education initiative that will transform the way students access and use school textbooks.

At a special event in New York, Apple unveiled the updated iBooks 2 app which is now offering interactive textbooks for the iPad.

Apple also introduced iBooks Author – a free app to allow users to create and publish their own interactive books.  

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of worldwide marketing, took to the stage at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City to make the announcements.

He said the iPad was the number one item on teens’ wish lists during the holiday season and that the technology has already gone a long to help and engage students and children with learning difficulties.

You can watch the entire Apple Keynote here.

There are already more than 20,000 education apps for the iPad but Apple is taking it one step further by re-inventing the text book.

Textbooks for the iPad will be engaging and interactive

Schiller pointed out that books, which have served us well since the 14th century and the invention of the printing press, are not as easily portable when we have a lot to carry in a back pack.

“They’re not the ideal learning tool but their content is amazing,” he said about printed books.

Schiller also explained a bound book is not durable if it has to be used for many years and shared by a number of students.

And, of course, a printed book is not interactive, searchable or updateable.

But now with iBook 2 and the new text books on the iPad students can engage with the material in a more fun and interactive way.

The textbooks available through iBooks 2 will be updateable if there are any edition changes

The new textbooks can include videos, picture galleries, 3D models and various multimedia elements to make it easier for the student to grasp the material.

The student is also able to create highlights and attach notes and even use these annotations as a study aids.

And any downloaded book will always be kept update automatically if there any edition changes.

And for those who want to create their own interactive text books, Apple has created iBook Author – a free app which can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

This tool features templates and easy drag and drop operation to create fully interactive texts.

Apple also introduced a new iTunes U app which gives students access to a catalogue of free educational content and course.

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