• Apple Wows in Introduction of iBooks 2, iBook Author

    On Thursday, Apple joined the debate as to whether physical books or electronic books are the supreme learning tool of the new age. According to Apple, as you might expect, eBooks are the winner, particularly the electronic textbook variety optimized for the iPad.

    At the company's media event today at New York's famed Guggenheim Museum, Apple executive Phil Schiller raised the curtain on iBooks 2 for iPad.

    Along with Roger Rosener, vice president of productivity applications, the Apple execs praised the role tablet computers and mobile devices are poised play in revolutionizing education. They also said it's time to remove the difficulties incumbent upon educators in engaging students, something that the new interactive textbooks from Apple can help to accomplish.

    The digital textbooks showcased at today's event, in typical Apple fashion, were impressive and demonstrative of the future. They were flashy, highly interactive with easy access to glossary items and graphics, and easy to navigate in terms of highlighting sections. Students can also take notes within the iPad while reading the text. Individualized note cards for further study even be created directly from the digital text.

    Textbooks for high schools will be priced at $14.99 or less.

    What's more, Apple similarly rolled out a new program called iBooks Author, which the iPhone and iPad maker says will enable textbook authors to easily create innovative and interactive new learning experiences with their work.

    iBooks 2, which is basically a free app that also provides access to iBookstore, is available today, Schiller said. Incredibly, iBook Author will also be free. Once released, digital textbooks will be available through the iBookstore.

    Before the close of today's event, Apple confirmed the longstanding rumor that it had, indeed, partnered with major textbook publishers (Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) as part of this new endeavor.

    Source: All Things D
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