At an event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Apple marketing Chief Phil Schiller said that it is time to reinvent the textbook, adding that 1.5 million iPads are in use in the education sector now.
“It’s hard not to see that the textbook is not always the ideal learning tool. It’s a bit cumbersome ,” he added.
The technology giant has been working on digital textbooks with three top publishers in the United States including Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Cos Inc and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
iBooks 2 will be available as a free app on the iPad, and would enable users to read interactive full-screen digital textbooks that makes liberal use of video and animations. High school textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less, and would come with a range of interactive features.
“I give such incredible marks to Steve Jobs and Apple for having this vision and pushing it through the iPad,” Terry McGraw, chief executive of McGraw-Hill told the Reuters. He also added that he has been in talks with Apple’s founder Jobs and his team since last June, about recreating textbooks as applications.
Apple has also launched iBooks Author, a new free application available on the Mac App Store, using which anyone can create a book. It has further boosted its iTunes U program beyond audio and video lectures, by adding an app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that allows professors to create full online courses, with assignments, books, quizzes etc.