Last week’s Apple event was focused on education, and textbooks on the iPad were a major part of the presentation. A number of the new textbooks released on the day of the Apple event are targeted at students in high school and above, but there are a few new entries that look more targeted at the K-12 age group.
My daughter was home sick from school on the day of that Apple event, so we got a chance to install and look at a couple of the new titles in the DK Readers series from Dorling Kindersley in the iBookstore – DK Natural History: Mammals – Carnivores and DK Natural History: Insects. I’ve always thought Dorling Kindersley’s printed books are very impressive, so I was optimistic about these new iBooks titles of theirs.
Apple’s education announcement event this morning focused on their efforts to reinvent textbooks on the iPad. As part of the launch of these efforts, today has seen the release of the new iBooks Author, a free Mac app to be used as an authoring / publishing tool for textbooks and books of all types, and of iBooks 2.
iBooks 2 is really the 2.0 version of iBooks – and it already features some of the shiny new textbooks for the iPad, 8 of them right now. These include Algebra 1, Geometry, Environmental Science, Biology, and more. One of the most impressive looking of these is ‘Life on Earth’, a new digital biology textbook for high school students. This one is by E.O. Wilson, a professor emeritus at Harvard, distinguished biologist, and two-time Pulitzer winner. Right now it has a preview of the book and a sample chapter available for free, with future chapters to be released this spring.
One of the best things about this morning’s news on iPad textbooks is the pricing levels. iBooks textbooks will be priced at $14.99 and below – significantly lower than current prices for printed textbooks.
If you already have iBooks installed, there’s an update for it available today, that updates it to the 2.0 version that’s needed to download these new textbooks.
Here’s an iPad rumor I can really get behind. Apple’s ‘education announcement’ event in New York is less than 24 hours away now, and it is looking more and more like the event is going to focus on textbooks and education materials on the iPad.
GigaOm cites a Bloomberg report that notes a special focus on grades K-12:
Bloomberg reports that Apple will announce tools that make publishing interactive textbooks on the iPad much easier, and also allow for the creation of other “digital education content,” according to two sources familiar with the announcement’s details. The new tools, which will be introduced by Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, are intended to help broaden the appeal of the iPad for educational institutions, with a special focus on grades K-12, Bloomberg claims.
This is one iPad related rumor I would love to see come true. I’ve got a daughter in 3rd grade and she currently carries a backpack to school each day that feels like it weighs more than she does. I would love to see her class (and her school) using iPads in place of, or as a supplement to, textbooks. I believe this would have benefits for students, for teachers, and possibly even for school budgets if saving on paper and other spending areas is taken into account.
My daughter is an experienced and very savvy iPad user (shocker, eh) and I’d love to see her able to carry a much lighter backpack and put an iPad to use each day at school.
What do you all think about K-12 textbooks on iPad, and iPads in K-12 in general?