Apple Launches New Reading Tools With Apple Textbooks

Apple has launched new apps and updates to augment its foray into education with new Apple textbook features.
Apple iBooks

Apple announced a number of updates and new features to their iBook software offerings for all Apple devices. What stood out however was the announcement of a number of education oriented features that target the education sector and aim to disrupt the traditional textbook ecosystem. Here is a list of the new features and what they could mean for those in the education sector, students and teachers alike.

iBooks 2.0

This is a massive upgrade to Apples e-book reader app and came loaded with a totally new section for textbook support. Whereas this was expected, what may not have been anticipated is the extent of the textbook features in the update. The app not only provides users access to a vast array of textbooks from Apple publishing partners Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson but also allows for dynamic interaction with textbooks. This means textbooks will have animations, interactive diagrams, user-generated flashcards for self testing as well as other functions such as annotation, highlighting and so on.

iBooks Author

This free authoring tool allows users to create all manner of books from cookbooks to how-to manuals to wikis all from the iBooks author app. The MAC OS app comes with a bunch of tools that will enable users develop and publish books straight to Apple’s iBookstore and these tools include themes, custom widgets, interactive galleries and so on. The app will make it even easier for users to generate and publish content to the public.

iTunes U

This extension to the Apple offerings allows educationists and learners to use Apple’s mobile hardware including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to teach and learn. The iOS app will allow users to create and distribute course content, curricular, quizzes, notes and so on as well as offer access to one of the largest repositories of free educational material from some of the top learning institutions in the US.

This app updates show Apple are not only going big on textbooks but they also want to change how learners interact with textbooks and possibly end up replacing textbooks altogether.

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