Apple announced its plans to bring iBooks 2 with interactive textbooks to students at its own education event. The company unveiled more details regarding the new digital textbook model and is trying to get publishers to make iPad versions of them. This solution could make the education process much more attractive and even save money in long the term.
Textbooks will integrate not only portability but interactiveness to bring a whole new level of engagement to K-12 students and above. Authors will have total freedom in what they can offer, from animations to traditional graphics and text.
iBooks 2 is the next-generation content store for e-books, and is available today. These educational, student-oriented e-books will appear in the iBooks 2 under the new heading: Textbooks. This section of the iBookstore will include high school-level books, and more in due time.
Apple is working with publishers and partners, including Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — as previously rumored — to enabled cheaper, more accessible e-book content. Books will always remain up to date, including revised copies. Students will also keep their copies forever.
Apple is also rolling out iBooks Author, giving ordinary people the tools to create these e-books. It will be available for the Mac, and is available today. The layout is easy, and the creation process is simple, giving a what-you-see approach to educators and students alike, to create engaging e-books.
It has a iWork-feel about the software, allowing users who are already versed in Keynote and Pages the ability to jump right in. But while it is designed for the lay-person, those who have programming knowledge can also implement their own code into e-books, alongside text and graphics. It also supports HTML5. iBooks Author is free.