Last week, Apple held a media event in New York City. At this event, the technology-gurus revealed their newest software programs, which could forever change the way that education takes place in the classroom. Currently, there are 1.5 million iPads that are being used in classrooms across the country. There are also more than 20,000 education and learning apps available in the app store. However, these numbers can both be expected to increase in the near future, thanks to the release of these new programs.
So what exactly did Apple announce? On January 19, 2012, Apple announced that it was updating the iBooks app, creating a new category of books in the iBookstore, and also releasing a DIY e-book creator. This means that there are now many more new tools that teachers and students can use in the classroom to learn.
Let’s take a look at all of the new options that Apple is offering to make learning even more interactive and technologically-based:
- The new iBookstore will have a textbook category. These textbooks will be media-rich and interactive, allowing students to watch videos, play with diagrams, view pictures, and of course, read. These books will be available for students in grades K-12.
- The new books available in iBooks 2 will have search options, making it easier to find what you are looking for in the index, glossary, dictionary, or the book itself. You will also be able to highlight important information in the books, a feature that many students find very useful.
- Many of the books will feature a Question & Answer section at the end of every chapter. This will allow students to gauge how well they are learning the material and receive instant feedback on their progress.
- The books on iBooks will cost $14.99 or less. This is much cheaper than traditional textbooks, which cost about $75 each. For schools that are facing budget cuts or need to save some cash, this will be a great way to do so.
- A new app, iTunes U, will allow teachers to post their class syllabus, lectures, course assignments, and much more for students to see and access. This new app will allow teachers and students in grades K-12 use it; a previous version was only available for students at certain universities.
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