Thursday, January 19, 2012

Apple in Education.

“Education has always been a big part of Apples DNA.” – Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP Internet Software and Services

Watch any two year old swipe across the iPad as if it’s second nature.   Ask any teen:  statistically, it’s the #1 most asked for item.  The iPad offers a more dynamic interactive experience whether it’s for entertainment or education apps.  Today, in NYC, Apple announced their push further into the education sector:

 1.)  iBooks2 App.  Free. The idea: reinventing the textbook.
*Apple wants to better integrate iPads within curriculum. 

*A molecular biology book was showcased as an example.  It was certainly more immersive, interactive and engaging with its animated models of cells and DNA .

*The push is to provide content that is current, interactive, searchable, durable and portable.  Furthermore, it has the capability to highlight, assist with note-taking, create digital “study cards”, and become a fluid navigation full screen book.

2.)  iAuthor.  FREE.  The idea: making it easy to create digital textbooks.
*“Creating e-books in the past has been hard – think we’ve changed that today.”

*iAuthor works a lot like Keynote or Pages in the sense you can easily create books.  Basically- choose a template, drag and drop media, even keynotes.  Also, allows you to move content over from Word files and creates sections and headers seamlessly.  It also touts, “what you see is what you get”.

*Also, if you have any know how, you can use Java and HTML5 to create custom widgets.

*There is also a one-touch- publish button and a preview feature. 

Brand new category: "Textbooks in the iStore”.   They are initially pushing high school textbooks at $14.99 or less honing in on that fact that e-textbooks will always be up to date and since it’s an e-book, students can keep it. 

Apple has been working with Pearson, McGraw-Hill Houghton Mifflin Harcourt –who are responsible for 90% of textbooks in US.  A few titles are available as early as today:  from Algebra to Biology.

3.) (all new) iTunes U App, FREE. The idea:
Reinventing the curriculum.
Dedicated app for teachers to distribute- full online courses, audio, video, apps the syllabus, the lectures and the reading material all for free. 

*Allows colleges and universities around the country the ability to distribute lessons and deliver content to students or anyone with “an appetite to learn”.  Receive push notifications as new material is published.

*This is much more fluid than going to the campus library and picking up VHS tapes on loan (not that I’ve ever had to do that at a technology university). 

*While this app is not new its revamped.  Notably, universities like Duke, Stanford, Harvard and Yale have already been using iTunes U and six universities have had early access to the new iTunes U creating 100 new courses.

*iTunes U is now also available for K-12 schools and in 123 countries. 
In conclusion making a digital textbook, sharing a lecture or accessing content from a school across the country is made to be easy.  Apple is known for intuitive products and consumer friendly software and is further pushing in to the education sector.  A smart move continuing growth for the next generation.

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Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll