Apple’s iBooks 2 Brings the Missing Piece to Mobile Education
Physical textbooks are a thing of the past. Students no longer read the book but rather research the subject online. Not to mention the fact that schools are spending an obscene amount of money to maintain a stockpile of obsolete inventory for several years without update. With development in e-reader technology, the iPad, and now iBooks 2 this outdated method is no longer necessary.
Apple’s announcement of iBooks 2 introduces a realm of possibilities for students and educators that we could only imagine until now. Up to this point there was much talk about the evolution of textbooks, but there was a lingering question of “How? On what platform?” With this new publishing software it’s easy for anyone to develop and publish digital techbooks which integrate multi media content. The advent of iBook Author makes it possible for professors to create and publish their own interactive books. The software is so simple to use one can simply drag and drop a document into the program and it will automatically format it. And it’s all free!
A digital techbook solution for the iPad has been in the making for a long time. It started with PDF editing software and evolved into
application based solutions such as Our Choice from Push Pop Press (which was bough out by Facebook), and Inkling which now carries McGraw Hill’s top 100 titles and involves note taking, note sharing, quizzing, and virtual networking between classmates. Now, iBooks 2 integrates all of these features and accommodates creative freedom for more functions such as interactive graphs, full screen interactive images, and 3D models. Furthermore, iBooks will automatically organize highlighted text and notes into notecards for students to study later. In addition, the new iTunes U app works in tandem with iBooks and gives professors the tools to create complete virtual courses which include audio and video, presentations, documents, PDFs, ePub books, iOS apps, and web links.
In sum, this technology unequivocally solves the question of “How?” and students have already answered why. iSchool Initiative is excited to see yet another barrier to creativity stripped from the classroom. We look forward to exploring the limits of this new technology with Volume 1 of iSchool Initiative Workshops iBook – Professional Development for Educators Everywhere.