Thursday, January 19, 2012

One Per Cent - Apple turns educator with iBook Textbooks for iPad

acob Aron, technology reporter
(Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images)

Students groaning under the weight of multiple textbooks can now swap their hefty tomes for an iPad - if they can afford one. Apple today launched a new range of interactive textbooks specifically designed for its tablets.
iBook Textbooks dump the paper-flipping effect of ebooks for a more app-like experience, offering images, videos and interactive diagrams alongside the text. Students can also highlight passages and make notes, then touch a button to have them transformed into study cards.
Apple has worked with textbook publishers McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to produce a small range of books at launch, but it is also offering anyone the ability to create their own directly on the iPad using its free iBooks Author app. Teachers can also use the Author app to create iPad-based courses and message students when they set homework.
The textbooks can be automatically updated by the authors, eliminating the need to buy a new version each year, and will sell for $15 or less - a significant price-cut over paper books.
Of course, you'll also need to buy an iPad for $499 or more.
That could be affordable for university students - some institutions have already started giving undergraduates a "free" iPad as part of their tuition fees - but outfitting an entire secondary school with tablets might be beyond the budget of cash-strapped educators.

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