At a special event in New York City, Apple announces a new initiative to encourage textbooks for the iPad.
At their event, director of marketing Phil Schiller takes the stage in the Big Apple to tout the popularity of iPad among students and the fact that little is being done to incorporate it into the educational system.
ZDNet's Andrew Nusca is at the event and reports what Apple is announcing.
Photo: Bridget Carey, CNET
Schiller says there are 20,000 education apps on the iPad and more than 1.5 million iPads in use in educational institutions.
Could this be the end of the big backpack - and give the opportunity for students to access more books?
Schiller talks about why books are not good: they're not portable, not searchable, not current, and not interactive. Here's the introduction of iBooks 2.
Schiller says that to create an iBook you can use an app called iBooks Author.It's available from the iTunes bookstore today for free.
You can integrate databases such as Lexus Nexus which will make it easy to search for specific examples. It can also be used for business.
Integrating databases into textbooks, being able to search LexisNexus, for example, inside a textbook to search for additional information. It can also be a valuable business tool.
No more paper flashcards - you can even shuffle them on the iPad.
You own the book forever and can re-download it anytime from the cloud.
The cost is Apple's real pitch. High school textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less and iBooks Author is free.
Apple says teachers can do a lot more with all the low-cost materials available on the iTunes app.
1,000 universities are already using iTunes U and have generated more than 700 million downloads.
Six universities have iTunes U and have created hundreds of courses.
Here's an example of an online course at Duke. Topics that include overview, outline, instructor info, etc. Teachers can post assignments and messages for the students. You can also tap into lectures.