Apple Introduces iBooks 2.0, ibooks Author and Opens iTunes U to k-12

Apple held an event this morning in New York to announce a slew of education related items.  The first thing off the blocks was the introduction of the update to the iBooks franchise with a version 2.0.  This new version includes a ton of rich media capabilities and allows the introduction of school textbooks, which was one more thing Apple did this morning.

As we so rightly predicted last week, Apple also introduced a publishing tool, iBooks Author for those people who wish to easily produce their own media rich textbooks and really books in general.  This was show to be handling almost everything from Pages, Microsoft Word and Keynote and the outcome was brilliant.  Even HTML and Javascript is acceptable within the authoring program.  iBooks Author provides true WYSIWIG publishing capabilities just as the other Apple produced apps do.

The next thing that was introduced was the Textbook  section of the site which includes textbooks from some of the largest publishers in the world including McGraw Hill, Pearson’s and Houton Miffin Harcourt.  With books already in the textbook store, this is due to be a popular thing, especially since Apple announced the pricing as $14.99 and less and the students keep all books forever.  No more turning in the books.

One of the last items announced was the inclusion of the k-12 group into the iTunesU realm.  The education courseware currently being offered in the iTunesU will now be included in the new iTunesU App which will allow students and teachers much more flexibility and focus of studies.  Not only is the course materials there, but also the lectures and the ability to have students study sections that the teachers and professors specify for them to read.

The best part of today’s announcements is that all of the apps included in today’s presentation are free!

The new iBooks 2.0 is available for download from:

The new iBooks Author program can be downloaded at:

The iTunesU Application is downloadble from:

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