Update 1: …and it looks like the Textbooks category is absent in Canada. It requires a US iTunes account to access.
Today at Apple’s education event in New York City, the company announced what was previously rumoured: a massive change in the way we will use textbooks in education, as noted by Steve Jobs in his biography.
Phil Schiller was on stage to announce the update to iBooks 2 that brings support for textbooks. How to create these new textbooks? Easy. Just use the free app iBooks Author, available for free from the Mac App Store. iBooks Author allows for anyone to create rich, detailed, and interactive textbooks for free.
Apple also announced a partnership with three major textbook publishers that produce 90% of textbooks: Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Without these big players on board, it would’ve been difficult for Apple to do this alone.
Apple also introduced a standalone iTunes U app, to bring free courses via an easy to use app. Teachers and professors can also use iTunes U to broadcast assignments and updates to students.
These announcements definitely will change the way students learn. Textbook prices will start at $14.99. The only barrier to entry is the purchase of an iPad.
More to come…
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