Coverage Of Apple’s Education Event; Launches iBooks 2 And iBooks Author

Apple's Education Event

Apple’s media event should be underway shortly (10 am EST or 7 am PST).

Apple has already mentioned that the focus of the event will be education. Apple’s special event is taking place at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

It is widely speculated that Apple will expand its iBookstore to also sell textbooks. Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson has revealed that the textbook industry was one Jobs wanted to revolutionize with the iPad. Here’s a quote from Isaacson:

“His idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad. In addition, he held meetings with major publishers, such as Pearson Education, about partnering with Apple.”

It is rumored that Apple will launch a GarageBand like tool to publish eBooks.

Updates will be posted from top to bottom (bottom newest) so stay tuned (hit refresh to get the latest).

AllThingsD reports that they’ve spotted McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw in the audience.

Phil Schiller has just walked out on stage.

He is talking about how the iPad is being used in schools.

Schiller: We tried to figure out what Apple can do to improve the situation.

Schiller: It’s not a big surprise that kids get excited learning on iPad. It’s the #1 device on teen wish lists this past holiday season.

He is talking about some of the education apps in the App Store.

Schiller: Two initiatives today: #1: Reinventing Textbooks.

He is now talking about some of the disadvantages of the textbooks.

Schiller has just introduced iBooks 2, which will bring a new textbook experience for the iPad.

Schiller: These are beautiful books, interactive, fun, gorgeous, engaging—kids are gonna love to learn with textbooks in iBooks 2.

Here are some of the things you can do with the digital textbooks in iBooks 2

  • Swipe through page thumbnails across the pages, swipe above to skip through chapters.
  • Tap a thumbnail to go to a specific page
  • Pinching up an interactive element to full screen, then zoom in to animated cell structure imagery
  • To read just the text, all you need to do is switch to portrait. iBook re-lays out the book again.
  • You can tap the words to see their definition, tap into the glossary—some defs. include images.
  • You can search by page number.
  • Can include gallery of images, which can be seen as a slideshow.
  • And tons of other features.

iBooks 2 is available in the App Store for free.

Apple has also launched iBooks Author, which will allows content creators to create digital texbooks for iBooks 2.

iBooks Author is a Mac Application.

iBooks Author launches with template chooser and the interface looks similar to iWorks apps.
Rosner is giving a demo of iBooks author.
iBooks Author is also free and is available in the Mac App Store today.
The digital textbooks will be available for $14.99.
Phil Schiller says that they got a lot of advice from educational learning companies like Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
A number of publishers are launching digital textbooks in iBookStore today.
Schiller recaps:
Anyone can create stunning, interactive books. From textbooks to cookbooks to travel books to whatever you can imagine. Beautiful templates, multitouch widgets, photos, and videos, extend with HTML5 and JavasScript, and publish to iBookstore. 
Eddy Cue comes on stage.
In addition to textbooks, Apple is also reinventing Curriculum today.
Apple announces an iTunes U app.
iTunes U app offers: Full courses with video, documents, apps, and books. You can see the syllabus and all assignments. Teacher posts and updates. iBooks notes integration.
iTunes U app is available for free in the App Store in 123 countries.
That’s it folks! Let us know what you think about the event. Has Apple reinvented textbooks and curriculum?