Apple announced that it's expanding the availability of its iBook Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager to students and teachers throughout much of Asia, Europe and Latin America.
iBooks Textbooks for the iPad, which feature interactive animations, flick-through photo galleries and tap-to-play videos, are now available in 51 countries including Japan, Italy and Brazil. The iTunes U Course Manager, which lets teachers create and share courses for their classrooms or share them publicly on the iTunes U app, is now offered in 70 countries including Russia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Apple officials said it now offers almost 25,000 educational titles created by independent publishers, teachers and education services companies including new content from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Hodder Education. It claims its iBooks Textbooks now covers 100 percent of the US high school core curriculum and the General Certificate of Secondary Education curriculum in the UK.
The company's made no secret of its plan to do for the global textbook market what it has for digital music and application downloads through iTunes and its App Store.
"The incredible content and tools available for iPad provide teachers with new ways to customize learning unlike ever before,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see how teachers in even more countries will create their new lesson plans with interactive textbooks, apps and rich digital content.”