The advent of the iPad has undoubtedly further cemented Apple’s prominence in education circles. During today’s keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the iPad an “incredible learning tool”, currently available for 80% of the US high school curriculum and for 2,500 schools in the US. A great aid for educators has been the iBooks Author app, which enables teachers to create their own interactive textbooks for the iPad platform. It was very fitting that Apple announced today an update for iBooks Author.
This update can be put squarely into the column of things that do not surprise us at all. Not only was an enhancement expected, for anyone who deals with education or who spends time with kids the impact that the iPad has had on education in the US and also internationally has been mind-boggling.
The update brings new features: integration of custom fonts, addition of mathematical expressions and improved audio support, as well as easier upload to iBookstore, and promises to make creation of a text book an even easier and pleasurable experience.
Cleaning Mona Lisa is a new iBooks title that shows us what great results can emerge with iBooks Author, an interesting subject, and a passionate author. Here’s a little bit of its iTunes intro:
Mona Lisa is one of the world’s most studied paintings, yet she still has secrets to reveal. Join art historian Lee Sandstead—university professor and host of Travel Channel’s Emmy nominated Art Attack—on an interactive journey into the hidden world of Renaissance and realist art. Watch engaging videos. Read interviews with prominent museum conservators. Interact with gorgeous paintings by artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Waterhouse, and Bouguereau. All to follow Lee on his quest to understand the greatest secret of all—the craft behind the woman.
It’s great to see how excited Sandstead is about iBooks and the iPad as a medium for this type of book. I love this section of the book’s introduction:
This book is specifically designed to take advantage of Apple’s revolutionary book-formatting techniques. No longer are books confined to text and pictures – they now become worlds in which to immerse one’s self for hours, days, weeks. “All the world’s a stage,” according to Shakespeare.Now, the entire stage lies in your hands.
It’s even better to see that his book lives up to and is an excellent example of what he’s saying.