With the release of iBooks 2, Apple has (once again) changed the game.
Training their sights squarely on the academic sector, Apple recently unveiled a suite of software, iBooks textbooks, iBooks Author app for Mac and iTunes U (they didn’t really just unveil this last one, but I had to have a set of three).
iBooks 2 is the updated version of the iBooks software.
Notable among the advancements in iBooks are the interactive components and the streaming audio and video capabilities of their books.
iBooks’ software has been developed to soup up the iPad, offering a selection of textbooks, which students can download and interact with directly from their devices, as well as authoring tools to make creating and distributing digital textbooks simple and seamless.
Where you were once looking a flat images within textbooks, Apple has made textbooks come alive, with audio, video and HTML code all accessible with a simple swipe of the finger.
Presumably, book publishers, who have already shown a penchant for digital books, will see Apple’s offering as a way to make headway in the textbook publishing space.
One intriguing feature of the new platform is iBooks Author, which enables publishers and authors to create textbooks using customizable templates and publish them immediately in the iBooks store.
The authoring suite is exceptional, and creating a book is an exercise in ‘drop n’ drag.’
Apple has made it extremely easy for authors and publishers who are interested in having their textbooks in the iBooks store, to get their work published.
These developments have made iTunes U, Apple’s educational concept, an even more enticing arena for educators seeking to leverage all that connected mobile devices and integrated technologies have to offer in academic settings.
iTunes U gives educators an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content.
By giving textbook authors the ability to drop their content directly into this rich environment, Apple is ensuring that their textbook library grows in much the same way that the App Store grew.
I’m particularly excited this because we’re exploring using the iTunes U platform for the P.A.L. Digital U.N.I.Verse.City course I’m teaching in Harlem.
We’re currently using Moodle to teach the course, and migrating to Apple’s platform will be a real coup!
If you’re an Apple-ophile like me (or a author, publisher, progressive educator), then you’re probably going to want to pay attention to this one.