Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

Summary: Apple jumped back into the educational market today with three new applications that have the potential to turn the industry upside down, and make backpacks a whole lot lighter this fall.


Apple made a number of education-related announcements today in New York City that make it clear that the company is serious about dominating textbooks, like it did with music and apps.

iBooks 2.0 (PRiTunes, free) -- This major update of Apple's eBook reading app for iOS includes an entirely new category for textbooks. But not just any old textbooks. Apple completely reinvented textbooks by adding interactivity and making once flat books, dynamic and engaging.

iBooks textbooks can include animations, diagrams, photos, videos and amazing navigation. In addition, they allows readers to highlight passages, add notes and even test themselves with flashcards built from their own notes or from the index. Most educational titles on the iBookstore are priced at $14.99 (or less) and launch partners include textbook heavyweights Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson.

Unfortunately, iBooks is still iOS only, but more on that in another blog post.

iBooks Author (PR, iTunes, free) -- A free authoring tool for Mac OS that allows anyone with a Mac to create textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and publish them directly to Apple’s iBookstore. Apple's Roger Rosner called it a combination of Pages and Keynote.

iBooks Author includes six gorgeous Apple-designed templates in several page layouts. Featuring an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, Author allows users to quickly build books with interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects and multi-touch widgets.

iTunes U (PRiTunes, free) -- Apple's third prong in its 2012 education strategy is an enhancement of iTunes U. Originally launched as a component of iTunes in 2007, iTunes has grown to over 700 million downloads to date. The new iTunes U is a native iOS app that works on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that allows educators and students to teach and learn on Apple's mobile hardware.

The new iTunes U app allows educators to create and manage courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses and distribute them to over 250 million iOS devices. The iTunes U app gives users access to the world’s largest catalog of free academic content, including courseware from top universities like Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford.

It's a compelling lineup and teachers and students will be able to use Apple's new tools to teach and learn in ways never before possible.

Did the iPad just replace the backpack?

Topic: Apple

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  • RE: Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

    Did the iPad just replace the backpack?

    Those of the Android and Windows persuasion are desperately hoping the answer to that question is - NO!

    But having reviewed the Apple Education Event Keynote video posted on Apple's website, I would say all those of the Apple persuasion are jumping for joy at the prospect of a better educational experience. (BTW, I also downloaded a sample of one the new textbooks available thru iBooks 2.0. The sample illustrated a quantum leap in presenting digital educational material, IMO.)
  • RE: Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

    iPad usage in schools and government is exploding in our province. SODs are overwhelmingly iPads and these new developments are only going to increase usage. We partnered with Pearson a number of years ago to build some interactive multimedia text books that were all HTML based and they were not bad, but these are simply mind-blowing. I hear lots of folks in these blogs commenting on how this can not replace a real book. You know what? You are old. This format is how kids want to learn...they take to it naturally. It is tactile with sound and vision and there is no going back.
  • RE: Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

    With these tools it is certainly going to help business publish documents in a lot more interesting fashion. All Apple needs to do now is work on how to publish to an intranet Bookstore solution. Then they will capture a lot bigger chunk of the market.<br>Looking forward to the next edition from Apple.
  • RE: Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

    This needs to be an open standard (HTML5) that works on all type of devices!!!!!!!!!!!
  • No what apple targeted are the taxpayers. Theres no value add, no reason

    for apple to be inbetween the taxpayer and the textbook. All the benefits of etextbooks, which already exist and apple didnt in any way just reinvent, already exist entirely outside apple and this announcement. What apple just did was a great PR show to try to dup school districts into giving them their cash instead of spending on the education of their students. And they came up with a business model that also allows publishers to join in the ripoff so that they'd come along. Its really nothing short of disgusting and its a new low for apple.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Apple targets academia with iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U

      @Johnny Vegas Dude the publishers have been ripping off students and school systems for YEARS before Apple even thought about making the iPad. If you'd remove your Apple Hater glasses you'd see the scam the publishers have been running especially at the college level. I've replied to 2 of your FUD-laced inane posts but I'll put the relevant parts here.

      Looking at this from the perspective of a college student - or in my case the parent of a college student - textbooks cost on average $100 new, $40-$80 used IF one is lucky enough to find one. A typical college student takes 5 classes - that's $$200-500 in books. Next semester new classes - likely another 5 classes - and another $200-500 bucks for books. Rinse and repeat for 3 more years for a grand total of $1,600-2000 for books. That are never updated. Enter the iPad and iBooks 2. A 64GB WiFi/3G iPad is $829.00. Textbooks for a typical college student as described above are $14.99 each - 20 books = $299.80 for a grand total of $1,128.80. Saving of $471-871. AND the college student not only has all of his/her textbooks that will be updated for the life of the textbook but also has an iPad that is so much more than an ereader or textbook.

      From a K-12 point of view - Apple can cut a deal with school systems for discounted iPads including a maintenance/ repair/ replacement contract for their students. This has been done before in Henrico Co, VA and was a huge success - the only reason the program was stopped was the replacement of the superintendent that initiated the program. That school system now uses Dell laptops in place of the macbooks they were using. And you cannot tell me that the publishers were selling the school systems textbooks cheaper than $50/book. Please.