Apple to reinvent the textbook with interactive iBooks 2 for iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Suggesting that physical textbooks are no longer the ideal learning tool, Apple on Thursday proposed a new platform and method of digital education: iBooks 2 for iPad.



Speaking to the press at New York's Guggenheim Museum, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Schiller, said current textbooks are not very portable, they're not durable, and they're not interactive. He believes the iPad stacks up better, particularly with the new iBooks 2.



"Education is deep in Apple?s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world," Schiller said."Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love."



Demonstrating iBooks 2 on Thursday, Apple's Roger Rosner showed off how iBooks 2 allows texbooks to start off with intro movies. He also quickly went across thumbnails for pages, and could skip across chapters.



Touting the new textbooks as "gorgeous," Rosner argued that "no printed book can compete with this." He demonstrated the ability to pinch into photos, and showcased 3D models of biological structures that can be rotated and manipulated in real-time -- all of this interaction happens within a digital textbook in iBooks 2.



Titles were shown off in both portrait and landscape mode. When switching to portrait, the digital textbook takes on a simpler look, with smaller pictures on the side and reading the more dominant task.







Rosner's demonstration utilized a number of multi-touch gestures to interact with the book, like pinch the page to access the table of contents. He also used features like tapping a word to get a definition, or to access a glossary.



Also demonstrated was a new gallery view. Users can swipe to browse the images in a gallery, and tap the screen to make the image go fullscreen.



iBooks 2 also offers chapter summaries, and multiple choice tests with questions and answers. Students are offered immediate feedback on their answers, and teachers are given options for layouts and question types.



Additionally, the new platform simplifies note taking, allowing students to swipe over text to highlight. Tapping highlighted text allows students to change the color, while notes can be added to the margin by tapping the note icon.







New textbooks can be purchased from the iBookstore, where screenshots of titles are also available. Free samples remain available, and there's an option for one-tap purchasing. Titles can be re-downloaded as needed.



iBooks 2 remains a free application, and the new update is available on the App Store today.







Apples's added push into the education, with a specific focus on student engagement, comes at a time when US scholars are lagging far behind their international peers. US students rank 17th in reading, 21st in math and 23rd in science, Schiller said. And those students who are lucky enough to work hard and graduate may still not be best positioned to compete in the global market, he added.



For their part, teachers interviewed ahead of Thursdays event said they've long battled low levels of engagement and witnessing students struggle with basic reading and writing skills while generally lacking interested in subjects taught in the classroom.







Meanwhile, class sizes have swelled to excess of 40 students each inside institutions whose infrastructure is falling into disrepair and which lack all the modern technology -- and even all of the text books -- they need.



While Apple acknowledge that "no one person or company can try to fix" all of the education shortcomings plaguing the US, the company feels best positioned to help.



Already, 1.5 million iPads are in use as part of US educational programs and the App Store already boasts more than 20,000 education and learning applications for the iPad -- a number which is sure to swell given the Cupertino-based company's latest initiative.







Features of iBooks highlighted by Apple are:

Download many of your favorite books from the included iBookstore

In addition to standard text, the iBookstore also offers books that are fully illustrated, and enhanced with audio, video, and animation

Experience gorgeous fullscreen Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad. These textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, videos, and more

Read a free sample of any book on the iBookstore before making it a part of your collection

Reorder your books on your bookshelf or browse them in a list sorted by title, author, or category

Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections

Easily adjust your screen brightness to find the perfect lighting for any environment

Change the font size and pick from six included type faces to make your books more comfortable to read

Find a word, character, or phrase anywhere in your book with the built-in search feature

Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with the automatic bookmark syncing feature

Quickly find a specific page using the page navigator at the bottom of every page

Read your books on white or sepia colored pages

Switch to full screen to remove all distractions, or read in white-on-black with the nighttime mode

Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings

Highlight your favorite passages and add notes with the built-in bookmarking features

Add books in the industry-standard ePub electronic book format to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Add PDF documents to iBooks from Mail, or add them to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Print PDF documents and notes you've written in iBooks using AirPrint

Use iBooks with the amazing accessibility features in iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch ? such as speaking the words on a given page
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 117
    hodarhodar Posts: 266member
    I wonder what they will add in iBooks 2?



    As an engineer - what I would have liked to have would be an embedded scientific graphing calculator, so I could work through the examples the book gave, on my own. This would come in handy not only in technical books (Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Differential Equations, Calculus, Real/Imaginary and Matrix mathematics), but also for quick sanity checks for classes like Economics.



    Being able to quickly open a window and plug in the formulas and run a couple examples would have been a great learning tool.



    I'm excited to see what Apple is adding to the mix.
  • Reply 2 of 117
    Quote:

    One of the largest was student engagement, and the fact that many students aren't interested in subjects taught in the classroom.



    When I look back at my education, I can't clearly remember a single teaching supplement that I used, but I can remember the teachers that chose to make a difference.



    iBooks 2 is not going to change that.



    I wasn't a big fan of English class, but one of my favorites classes overall was 12th Grade English because of the teacher. I don't think giving me an iPad in the other X number of English classes I took would have changed my opinion.



    I wish Apple the best on this endeavor, but I'm a little skeptical.
  • Reply 3 of 117
    I love what we can do with technology - but 2 things these new beautiful ENTERTAINING books can not do compared to print.



    The Printed form can not BE ALTERED as in present a new point of view of history in education. (I work in the legal field and ROM is still very importatnt)



    and 2 - when one day (if) we lose power in society or become poor to the point where we can not access electricty - the printed form is all we will have left.



    I am not saying this for doomsday reasons - or to say that only the rich will prosper - its just that everything these days are made with entertainment in mind rather then the educational experience needed that will exercise your mind from the printed text.



    of course this will appeal to the youth - and thats how it starts.



    Love apple - hate that everything has to be ENTERTAINMENT-ED (if that's a word) just to get someone to read.
  • Reply 4 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    I wonder what they will add in iBooks 2?



    As an engineer - what I would have liked to have would be an embedded scientific graphing calculator, so I could work through the examples the book gave, on my own. This would come in handy not only in technical books (Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Differential Equations, Calculus, Real/Imaginary and Matrix mathematics), but also for quick sanity checks for classes like Economics.



    Being able to quickly open a window and plug in the formulas and run a couple examples would have been a great learning tool.



    I'm excited to see what Apple is adding to the mix.



    It will be interesting to see if CourseSmart tries to compete with this or lets their iPad/iPhone app stagnate. The only benefit they might have is lower prices since you are only "borrowing" the book for the semester.
  • Reply 5 of 117
    "Many students aren't interested in subjects taught in the classroom." Don't see how technology is going to change that. It may facilitate those who participate in the system, but not those who think outside of the box. Would Steve Jobs have participated? Remember, he quit college and trusted his own mind, vision.
  • Reply 6 of 117
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    I wonder what they will add in iBooks 2?



    As an engineer - what I would have liked to have would be an embedded scientific graphing calculator, so I could work through the examples the book gave, on my own. This would come in handy not only in technical books (Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Differential Equations, Calculus, Real/Imaginary and Matrix mathematics), but also for quick sanity checks for classes like Economics.



    Being able to quickly open a window and plug in the formulas and run a couple examples would have been a great learning tool.



    I'm excited to see what Apple is adding to the mix.



    That's an interesting thought. Those graphics calculators are expensive and it would be a shame if students had to jump between two apps to do some equations from a math textbook and calc app, but I have a feeling Apple won't give access to its iOS calc app in the SDK so I think they will have to create their own. I hope I'm wrong.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by holmstockd View Post


    I love what we can do with technology - but 2 things these new beautiful ENTERTAINING books can not do compared to print.



    [...]



    I am not saying this for doomsday reasons - or to say that only the rich will prosper - its just that everything these days are made with entertainment in mind rather then the educational experience needed that will exercise your mind from the printed text.



    [...]



    Love apple - hate that everything has to be ENTERTAINMENT-ED (if that's a word) just to get someone to read.



    Yes, we should make learning more boring for students, not less¡



    BTW, making a book more interactive doesn't necessarily make it more entertaining but it does add a new way to engage the student that could lead to a much faster and more thorough understanding of the content in ways printed material never could
  • Reply 7 of 117
    red oakred oak Posts: 658member
    Does iBooks 2 replace the current iBooks? Or is it in addition?
  • Reply 8 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post


    Does iBooks 2 replace the current iBooks? Or is it in addition?



    Replace. It's a point update.
  • Reply 9 of 117
    couple of questions for you guys



    (1) I was unable to download iBooks 2 to my mac. Is it only available for iOS devices and not Macs? or will it launch later internationally (Im in the UK)



    (2) Is it only a reader, or is it meant to provide the tools for content providers. I've got a gorgeous project that I finished 18 months back, but realised I couldn't monetize a pdf project--the ePub version is a sow's ear by comparison??so it's languished.
  • Reply 10 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MikeSmoke View Post


    "Many students aren't interested in subjects taught in the classroom." Don't see how technology is going to change that. It may facilitate those who participate in the system, but not those who think outside of the box. Would Steve Jobs have participated? Remember, he quit college and trusted his own mind, vision.



    Well, there's a difference between an "outside the box" thinker like Steve Jobs who has the skill and motivation to learn on their own and a spoiled or un-parented high school kid who doesn't care to participate in school other than to not get kicked/flunk out. It's a culture problem, which technology won't solve but something that makes it easier to learn with less effort would probably make a difference for all kids, even the ones who aren't trying that hard.
  • Reply 11 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadow415 View Post


    When I look back at my education, I can't clearly remember a single teaching supplement that I used, but I can remember the teachers that chose to make a difference.



    iBooks 2 is not going to change that.



    You're completely missing the point. It's not meant to change that. It's meant to supplement that.



    The teachers that choose to make a difference will continue to stand out, obviously. It's the ones that do mediocre work that will now be supplemented by a great method by which the student can learn. You'll remember the iPad in those classes and the teachers in the other classes. Either way, you'll retain the CORRECT information. Either the raw data from the iPads or the passion given to you by the teachers who love their job.



    iBooks 2 will also be a way for the teachers who can make a difference but are restricted by the physical limitations of existing material TO make said difference. Just wait and see.
  • Reply 12 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post


    couple of questions for you guys



    (1) I was unable to download iBooks 2 to my mac. Is it only available for iOS devices and not Macs? or will it launch later internationally (Im in the UK)



    (2) Is it only a reader, or is it meant to provide the tools for content providers. I've got a gorgeous project that I finished 18 months back, but realised I couldn't monetize a pdf project--the ePub version is a sow's ear by comparison––so it's languished.



    (1) I downloaded and installed the new 2.0 iBooks app on my Mac. I don't know what the problem is with your system; try again tomorrow. If it persists, take your Mac to a Genius Bar at an Apple Retail Store.



    (2) It's just a reader. The authoring tools will be separate.
  • Reply 13 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    institutions whose infrastructure is falling into disappear...







    I hate when things fall into disappear!
  • Reply 14 of 117
    iBooks author
  • Reply 15 of 117
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,310member
    Underwhelmed. First time I've seen Apple announce something that is largely irrelevant. And with iBooks Author, now anyone can make a textbook with crappy content, and claim it is a "published textbook." I can see whole school districts in Kansas making science textbooks that omit evolution.



    Nothing here, move along. Except of course, tho looks like Apple is returning to the Newton Model of business.
  • Reply 16 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You're completely missing the point. It's not meant to change that. It's meant to supplement that.



    The teachers that choose to make a difference will continue to stand out, obviously. It's the ones that do mediocre work that will now be supplemented by a great method by which the student can learn. You'll remember the iPad in those classes and the teachers in the other classes. Either way, you'll retain the CORRECT information. Either the raw data from the iPads or the passion given to you by the teachers who love their job.



    iBooks 2 will also be a way for the teachers who can make a difference but are restricted by the physical limitations of existing material TO make said difference. Just wait and see.



    I think that's exactly right. An excellent teacher could do a better job than even the best designed interactive book. Also, a very motivated and smart student could learn everything they need from a traditional paper book. The new interactive book will make it easier, more fun, and faster to learn information, helping students that aren't as interested and not trying as hard. The job of a teacher and book is to make it as clear and easy as possible for students to understand difficult concepts (at least for technical subjects like math, biology, chemistry, etc).
  • Reply 17 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post


    Underwhelmed? ?largely irrelevant. Nothing here, move along.



    Come off it.
  • Reply 18 of 117
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post


    Underwhelmed. First time I've seen Apple announce something that is largely irrelevant. And with iBooks Author, now anyone can make a textbook with crappy content, and claim it is a "published textbook." I can see whole school districts in Kansas making science textbooks that omit evolution.



    Nothing here, move along. Except of course, tho looks like Apple is returning to the Newton Model of business.



    :scratching head:
  • Reply 19 of 117
    I would have absolutely loved this in school. I remember paying $140.00 for a new chemistry book, and then when I went to the bookstore at the end of the semester to get my cash back, I found out they were moving to a new version. If they can get all of the major publishers to start using ibooks and can hold that $15.00 price point that I have read, it will be an amazing service. The ipad would pay for itself.



    The thing is, it works out well for the publisher too. The high price of books is based largely on the fact that students sell them at the end of the semester and the publisher gets nothing from secondary sales. They would now get cash on all textbook sales and it would at least limit sharing since it would be linked to an itunes account.



    The other thing this would do would get even more ipads in the amount of students. Basically, it is a win for everyone.
  • Reply 20 of 117
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post


    Underwhelmed. First time I've seen Apple announce something that is largely irrelevant. And with iBooks Author, now anyone can make a textbook with crappy content, and claim it is a "published textbook." I can see whole school districts in Kansas making science textbooks that omit evolution.



    Nothing here, move along. Except of course, tho looks like Apple is returning to the Newton Model of business.



    ...then you are the one who needs to move on. With engagement a constant challenge in today's classrooms, with teachers struggling to get needed resources, this is huge for them. The relevancy is your problem, not Apple's. And what makes you think your particularly myopic vision of what this means in any way reflects reality? Your whole post post smacks of jaded cynical elitism. So in your line of thinking making clean water avalable for everyone is just going to encourage those who piss on the corner to just piss more? Get. Over. Yourself.
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