Apples Education event iBooks 2 iBooks Author and an iTunes U app

first_imgApple’s Education event is kicking off in a few minutes and Geek.com will be tracking it minute-by-minute. We’ve heard that Apple plans to majorly disrupt the textbook market, though various leaks and commentary over the past few days have questioned just how major of an announcement this will be. Even so, Apple rarely does things like this lightly, so we’ll follow the event and see what turns up. You can track the Education event, as of 10am, in the same way we will be. Some of the liveblogs we’ll be following include: Technologizer, The Verge, Cnet.And the event has started! Phil Schiller is going to kick things off today. He’s starting off with some talk about education: high school isn’t easy, only 70% of people end up graduating, classes sizes are too large, and so on. Classrooms are lacking the technology, some times even the texbooks, that they require. Education, he says, is in the dark ages. The iPad, it turns out, is a great tool for learning. It has over 20,000 education apps built just for it and there are over 1.5 million iPads in use in education today. Today is about two big things. Number one: reinventing the textbook. Textbooks aren’t portable, they aren’t durable, they aren’t searchable, and their not interactive. Plus, they are difficult to update. iBooks 2 is “the next textbook experience for the iPad”.The first demo is of a biology textbook. It’s vibrant, interactive, multitouch-friendly, and interactive. A pinch will bring you right to the tablet of contents, a tap on a term will bring you to the glossary page. There is a search feature too, just like you’d expect, as well as highlighting and the ability to take notes (which can then automatically be turned into study cards). There are image galleries and large, beautiful pictures. There is even an interactive Q&A at the end of chapters.How to get them? The iBook store will have a textbook category. iBooks will update soon and everyone will have access to a free sample. It looks like example used in the demo was by the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.iBooks 2 will work on the iPad or iPhone, it’s free, and it will be available today. But how do you create a textbook? you used a Mac application called iBooks Author. Books are built the way you’d work with something like Pages, using drag-and-drop layouts, a WYSIWYG editor, and so forth. Advanced functions can be handled through HTML5 or Javascript. Functions like the glossary are built right in so they don’t have to be formatted manually. It’s even possible to preview the textbooks on your iPad. iBooks Author is free. High school textbooks will be $15 or less. Books can be updated continuously. Major partners include Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and McGraw Hill, each of whom will make 90% of their texts available. Some of the texts from McGraw include Algebra I, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. DK Publishing will offer Dinosaurs, Insects, Mammals, and My Fist ABC.As noted above the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, lead by Harvard biologist EO Wilson is on board as well. Their book will be Life On Earth, and it’s an iBook store exclusive. The first two chapters will be free. (Also, it looks like a Apple Schiller a nice shout out to EO Wilson, who has done some extremely important work in biology, specially in the study of ants. His book “The Ants” written with Bert Holldobler is legendary in the field.)So that was all just the first part of today’s event. Eddy Cue is back to tell the rest of the story. Over 1000 universities use iTunes U. It’s a top free education tool with over 700 million downloads total, mostly of lectures. There will now be an iTunes U app. It’ll be just like iBooks, but for lectures and other iTunes U content. There will also be classroom tie-ins, like offering professor off hours schedules, posting assignments, send out messages to the class, and so on. Lectures can be downloaded or streamed. And it’s not just for universities any more: K-12 institutions can signed up for iTunes U. The iTunes U app is available today and it’s free. That’s it for today! Thanks for reading along.last_img read more