News from Apple’s Education Media Event – from New York City

Posted on Jan 19 2012 - 10:03am by Mike Wewerka

News updates from Apple Media event

10:01 – Education is deep in our DNA, and it has been from the very beginning – Phil Schiller

10:02 – Education has many challenges, and students in the US have an uphill battle against the rest of the world.

10:04 – Teacher in Apple promo video – “We need a reset. We need a way to find out what’s wrong, and fix it.”

10:05 – Phil Schiller – ““No one person or company can try to fix it all” Apple is prepared to do its part. Kids love iPads and with an iPad affordable for schools and families, it can be the bridge. The iPad currently has over 20,000 education apps, more than any other company.

10:07 – Right now, we have over 1.5 million iPads in school institutions and Apple wants to increase that. They believe that with iBook they can do it. The iPad can replace books because they don’t get dog earred, written in or worn. To many books are not portable, they are’t interactive and you can really search through them and most importantly, they can’t be updated.

But the content is great. The iPad though, it’s awesome, it’s everything a book is not. You can get amazing content but in a new way.

10:10 – Apple introduces iBook 2, a new textbook experience on the iPad. E.O. Wilson, a biologist, talks about a new digital textbook, the book shows off new multi-touch interface, video, and navigation by using thumbnails. “No printed textbook could compete with this.”

10:15 – Rosner shows off very cool things like the interactive text, you can access the glossary by simply highlighting a word. “That is so much better than a paper glossary could ever hope to be.”

The crowd applauds the demo, obviously they are impressed. The visuals are amazing and smooth.

10:17 – Books have built in reviews and quizzes. “The bottom line is: Immediate feedback.”

10:19 – Make simply study flash cards right from the glossary. “I don’t think there’sa textbook that’s ever made it this easy to be a good student”.

In the iBooks store, Apple has added a new TextBook category.

10:21 – Schiller is back on stage, says that creation is just as important for publishers. So they are introducing iBooks Author (the rumored “Garageband for e-books”)

10:22 – iBooks Author is “easy to use and feature rich.” It will work for any type of book, not just textbooks, but the most focus has been placed on Textbook creation. Rosner is back on stage, and says, “Traditionally, creating electronics interactive books has been really hard.” We can fix that.

10: 24 – With iBooks Author, users can create books just like they create word docs in Pages (iWorks) with simply drag and drop. You can use the built in editor or simply drag in Word docs to create you book.

Editor’s Note:  iBooks Author will do for writers, authors and illustrators, what the App Store did for developers, big and small. We are going to see people jumping on this to create their own books, now that the process is so simple.

10:29 – Rosner says that this program [iBooks Author] is a real time saver when compared to traditional methods of creating ebooks.

10:32 – iBooks Author is free and will be available today on the Mac App Store, now everyone can create great looking and interactive ebooks.

10:33 – Schiller says Highs School textbooks will launch at $14.99 or less. Partners and pricing are key.

10:34 – Schiller announces a few publisher working with Apple so far – Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “They have been great partners with us.”McGraw-Hill will be providing books based on Algebra, Biology, Chemistry books, etc. Schiller says “They are incredible. Can’t overemphasize” how important it is for publishers to work with us.”

10:36 – Schiller says that Apple has also been working on 4 new children’s books with DK publishing.

10:38 – Schiller promotes E.O. Wilson’s Biodiversity Foundation, “If you don’t know E.O. Wilson, you should.” More applause. Available right now, are the first chapters of “Life on Earth” for FREE, and future chapters will be available soon at a low price.

Showing a video now.

10:48 – There’s more, Eddie Cue come up and says that they want teachers to be able to create entire classes online with iTunes U. So far, in four years, they’ve had over 700 million downloads with iTunes U.

10:51 – Apple introduces new iTunes U app for the iPad that allows users to download online courses from major universities and more. Teachers can posts notes and videos for students via the courses they download. The look of iTunes U is very similar to that of iBooks but with a darker wood for the background.

10:54 -Eddie Cue mentions that six big schools have already used the new software, Duke, Stanford,  and Yale to name a few. There are over 100 courses online already…all of them are free!

10:57 – Schiller back and says “We hope that educators will look back on today’s announcements just as fondly as past Apple edu initiatives. I hope you’re as excited about these announcements as we are.”

10:59 – EVENT IS OVER. Go make your own books!