According to Global Equities Research, Apple's foray into the digital textbook market has been met with initial success, selling through upwards of 350,000 textbooks within the first 3 days. AllThingsD reports.
Birkley Breathed's Bloom County was my two favorite comic strips growing up, and now it's starting to become available in iBooks. From Bill the Cat's run for president to Milo's skewering of Senator Bedfellow to Oliver's landing the space shuttle to Opus'... everything, it delighted me on a daily basis.
Almost immediately following Apple's education event, the internet was filled with claims that Apple's textbook plan will never work. Namely, that the current $500 entry price of an iPad is unreasonably expensive for schools or parents to afford.
McGraw Hill CEO, Terry McGraw has paid a huge amount of credit to Steve Jobs over the launch of iBooks 2, which brought the availability of low price textbooks on the iPad. Speaking to the press after Apple’s education event yesterday, McGraw was asked a number of questions by All Things D reporter Peter Kafka. He was asked why now for digital textbooks as Apple had been talking to publishers for the last few years.
At Apple's education event they announced two initiatives: iBooks 2 and iBooks Author designed to bring textbooks into the digital age, and an all new iTunes U to create and share lesson plans, and follow and complete course work. As education initiatives from publicly traded companies go, they're big and bold -- but they're also just the beginning. There will be struggles and successes, breakthroughs and missteps. And while many of us here at iMore and Mobile Nations could speak about the implications from purely technical and business standpoints, we're lucky to have several teachers and educators, past and present, on staff. They were kind enough to share their thoughts on Apple's new initiatives, specifically and importantly where they impact most -- our kids in the classroom.
One of the big announcements at Apple's Education event was iBooks Author, a Mac application for creating books and textbooks for iBooks. I could that say I spent a better part of the day experimenting and learning how to use iBooks Author, but that'd be a lie. I spent more time typing out content then I did learning how to use the app.
After creating your book, it is incredibly easy to see how it looks on your iPad. Simply plug in your iPad, open iBooks, then click Preview in iBooks Author. The app immediately starts exporting your book and, boom, appears on your iPad. When you close everything down and unplug your iPad, your book will still be accessible in iBooks so that you can take a closer look at it from the comfort of your couch.
I never imagined that creating this type of content would be so easy - and free.
Immediately following Apple's Education Event, I downloaded a couple textbooks from the iBookstore, namely, Geometry and Chemistry. I've done some browsing and am very impressed with what Apple and the publishers have done with these textbooks.
On the surface, the books look like typical textbooks, but a simple touch brings the pages to life. You can enlarge images, flip through slideshows, watch videos and examples, take sample quizzes, and more. One of my favorites features is that there are flashcards pre-created with all the terms and definitions from each chapter. You can also create your own cards from highlighted text and user-created notes.
This is just the beginning of textbooks in the iBookstore and I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.
Following Apple's iBooks Author announcement today, word started to circulate that content made with Apple's app could only be sold in Apple's iBookstore. Author's could freely distribute the work, but they couldn't sell it elsewhere.