Just a quick post to highlight the big news at the announcement by Apple on January, 19th from New York. If you have an hour and want to watch the entire presentation at the even, you can go here to see the video Apple has posted.
Here is a quick summary if you are not sure you want to spend that hour watching all the demo's.
Apple is getting into the textbook business in a similar way that they reinvented music with iTunes. Of course, it all centers around the huge success of the iPad. They have publishers lined up and have introduced tools that will make it possible for mere mortals to create content for the iPad.
They introduced a new free iBooks2 for the iPad and iPhone to accommodate all the features of the new textbook category of books. Engadget has a couple of videos here if you want to see a quick demo. I will have to say... if my textbooks had looked like this in high-school and college, I may not have made that "C" in physics!
They introduced a new iTunesU app for iPhone and iPad. If you are not familiar with iTunes U (university), it has been a wonderful resource in iTunes for years now where you can get tons of educational content including free courses from University's like Stanford, Harvard, and Texas A&M. Now iTunes U is available for free as a stand alone app on iOS devices.
And they introduced iBooks Author. A new "free" authoring tool avialble thru the Mac App Store.
I don't know about you, but as a parent I am very excited about the possibilities here. I won't go into a long rant here about the complete mess the textbook selection and distribution process has become here in the United States, but I will say that I am at least hopeful there might be change on the horizon.
Lets hope that the success of Apple and the iPad, along with a potential groundswell of customer demand, we might be headed for a long needed change to our education system here in the US.