Apple Education Announcement

Summary of Apple Education Event

Posted by · January 19, 2012 6:59 am

Apple Education AnnouncementExperts Exchange staffer, Matt Nguyen is live blogging the highly anticipated Apple Education announcement this morning.  Join us to get up to the minute updates on Apple’s announcement from the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  You can follow Matt on Twitter at @NugeKnows.

Updated Summary of Apple Announcement

Apple served no surprises at today’s announcement at the Guggenheim museum in New York.  As most speculated, Apple announced 3 initiatives to start pushing into the education industry, iBooks 2, iBooks Author and the revamp of iTunes U.  Here is a brief summary of each:

iBooks 2

iBooks 2The most talked about rumor in the last week.  The iBooks 2 is a revamp of Apple’s ebook platform that adds textbooks as the main feature.  In an obvious push to challenge the traditional textbook industry, Apple has partnered with 3 major publishers, McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  These three companies make up about 90% of the textbook market in America and will be helping Apple make a push in this endeavor.  The interactive aspect of the textbooks will revolutionize how people learn through textbooks; offering interactive videos/photos, easy word-to-glossary tapping, rotating 3-D objects, note taking and highlights (you can even turn these notes into study note cards).  Textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less and are continuously updated (no need to purchase new versions or addendums).  The textbooks will also be stored on the Apply Cloud so you can re-download your books at any time.  Available today, Pearson has two books and McGraw Hill has 5 books.

iBooks Author

iBooks Author is a new app for Mac that allows anyone to create interactive books to be available in the iBooks store.  With numerous templates, users can easily create all types of books (textbooks, cookbooks, picture books, etc) for the iPad.  The interface looks pretty simple, with the ability to drag and drop text/photos/widgets where you want them to appear in the book.  As well, since people generally like writing in production software, like Microsoft Word, you can drag and drop your whole Word document into your book and the App will format sections and headers for you, a pretty neat time saving feature.  Authors can hold their work and preview it at any time.  Once reader, the author can publish directly to the iBooks store.  App is ready to download today.

iTunes U

iTunes U is not new for Apple but the revamp is quite interesting.  Now available on iPad, iTunes U connects educators, students and lifelong learners to be able to share content and information for free.  Through the app, you can access all the materials you need for a course in the app such as reading books, view videos/presentations, check assignments (and check them off when complete) and receive notifications from the teacher.  For teachers, it makes the task of building a course less tedious and time consuming.  Through the iTunes U Course Manager, teachers can gather all their materials, (syllabus, handouts, quizzes, presentations) and upload to the Apple iCloud and compile for specific courses.  As well, teachers can link to books in the iBooks store and students can read an assigned chapter directly in the app (purchasing the book is required of course).  This app is available to K-12 schools districts, universities and colleges in 26 different countries.  Hundreds of online courses are available from Duke, Yale, Stanford, MIT and many more.

Below are the live blog notes from this morning for more details

6:59 am:  We are about 1 minute away from the live Apple announcement

7:00 am:  Out comes Phil Schiller, sharing some interesting facts about education.  Only about 70% of entering freshmen in high school graduate in 4 years.

7:06 am:  Sharing 2 initiatives today.  1) Reinventing the textbook… no surprise here

7:08 am:  Talking about how cumbersome textbooks are and not a durable/portable learning tool.  iPads can be just that… iBooks 2 is the new textbook experience for the iPad

7:10 am:  DEMO of iBooks and the opening of a Biology book, pretty cool interface with an intro movie for the textbook.

7:13 am:  We’re getting a pretty good demo, seeing the cross section of a cell, visual 3-D models of a bug, this makes reading a textbook way more interactive and engaging.

7:15 am:  Whoa, when rotating from landscape (more visual and interactive) to portrait, the interface becomes more simple and more like reading a textbook.

7:15 am:  If you tap on a word, you can get to the glossary for definition/information.  Tap index, you’re back to reading.  That makes cross referencing that much easier.

7:16 am:  There is a review at the end of the chapter where you have questions, pictures.  You select the answers by tapping, getting immediate feedback if you get the answer wrong.

7:17 am:  Easy annotation functions where you can highlight and take notes as you read, pretty cool.

7:19 am:  We’re now seeing the layout of the new iBooks store, now with a textbook category.

7:20 am:  You can download iBooks 2 for free on the iPad and it is available starting today.

7:21 am:  Now shifting gears, talking about authorship.

7:21 am:  Announcement of iBooks author, a new app that allows to you create books. Time for a demo!

7:22 am:  There are a number of templates available for you to get starting.  Making book writing a bit easier. You can even drag and drop Word documents into the app!

7:24 am:  HUGE APPLAUSE!! No more fidgeting with headers, indentation and other formatting.

7:25 am:  Drag and drop functionality of images makes adding photos/diagrams/graphs simple.

7:26 am:  Whoa, there’s integration of Keynote and iBooks 2?!

7:26 am:  Drag and drop in widgets that you have created into the app.

7:27 am:  Creating a glossary has never been easier.  Just tap on a word, click the button and it’s added to your glossary.  Tap another button and edit the text.

7:28 am:  You can publish straight to the iBooks store.

7:29 am:  Time for a preview of the newly “published” book.  Everything that was added is there, pretty awesome!

7:30 am:  They want to get iBooks author into the hands of publishers, authors and even readers, the app is FREE!

7:31 am:  First focus, high school textbooks with cost being $14.99 or less.

7:33 am:  Interesting… they are saying that the child would have to purchase the textbooks themselves but the book will be updated with all new information.  Pretty cool you never have to buy the “most recent” edition.

7:34 am:  Announcement that Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are partners.  Saying that they are responsible for 90% of the textbooks sold.

7:34 am:  Pearson has the sciences:  Biology and other high school science is available today!

7:35 am:  McGraw-Hilll:  Algebra 1, Chemistry, Bio, Physics… available today as well.

7:35 am:  Now looking at DK PublishingL  They have 4 books launching today as well.

7:37 am:  Now talking about E.O Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.  Wilson’s Life on Earth will be exclusive on iBooks!

7:38 am:  Time for another video.

7:40 am:  Textbooks aren’t going away, just how we use and interact with them.  Apple is taking the first step in changing the landscape.

7:45 am:  Time to talk about iTunes U with Eddy Cue

7:46 am:  If you’re not familiar, iTunes U helps connect content with students and teachers at colleges and universities.  1,000 college and universities are already using it.

7:47 am:  Announcing the new iTunes U with dedicated app.

7:48 am:  Jeff Robbins is up to give us a demo.

7:49 am:  Yay, looking at a Chemistry course… my favorite college subject **cue sarcasm**

7:49 am:  There is an overview about the teacher, syllabus, class info, etc.

7:49 am:  Teachers can use the app to push updates to students.

7:50 am:  Whoa, your assignments integrate nicely with iBooks and will show up right in your iBooks interface!

7:50 am:  You can cross reference videos that the teacher has made.

7:51 am:  Now onto Notes:  All the things you highlighted are pulled into the Notes section and you can quickly make additions and edits:

7:51 am:  The Materials Tab allows you to see all materials needed for the section (links, video, audio, etc).

7:52 am:  Can link out to apps so students can purchase books directly from your iPad.

7:52 am:  You enroll in classes straight from the app!

7:53 am:  Six universities have access to the new app.  Duke, Yale, HACC, MIT… sorry, missed the last two…

7:53 am:  iTunes U is Free.

7:54 am:  Starting today, iTunes U will be available to K-12 schools too!

7:55 am:  Phil is back on stage.  iBooks – Reinventing the textbook.  iBooks Author:  Making free and simple ways to create interactive books.  iTunes U:  Making a free and simple place for anyone to take a course.

7:58 am:  Phil acknowledges the Apple employees and is excited where things are going.  Phil steps off, keynote is done.

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