Following-up on Apple’s announcement of the forthcoming iTunes U 2.0 update with new creation tools and discussion feature on iPads, Foundation – a non-profit behind E.O. Wilson’s “Life on Earth” – today announced launch of the complete series on iTunes U and the iBooks Store.
Provided free of charge, the first seven chapters in the 41-chapter series released today as interactive iBooks textbooks, with the remaining materials to be rolled out throughout 2014. In addition, the series is accompanied by an iTunes U course that gives learners access to course materials included in the Biology course…
Writing on the official blog, Foundation said that The Life on Earth iBooks textbook series development and distribution has been made possible by generous donations from Foundation supporters.
From iTunes release notes:
Inspired and led by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and naturalists Edward O. Wilson – and created with a team of world-renowned educators and artists – this comprehensive and original standards-based curriculum tells the story of life on Earth, giving students a deep understanding of introductory biology.
Presented as a seven-unit collection, E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is a free iBooks Textbook that uses rich, Multi-Touch experience to engage students in lessons about everything from molecules to ecosystems.
And accompanying iTune U course – Biology: Life on Earth – extends students’ learning in and out of the classroom with reading and writing assignments and extension activities like field observations and moviemaking.
Designed to prepare tomorrow’s biochemists, explorers, environmental policymakers, and engaged citizens for their work, this captivating curriculum inspires students to take responsibility for conserving and protecting nature’s biological treasures.
An accompanying iTunes U course gives learners access to course materials included in the Biology course and incorporates reading assignments, extension activities such as field observations, writing assignments, project-based learning exercises, and more, using apps and other materials.
Important themes like citizen science, evolution, climate change and protecting biodiversity use premium content from leading institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia of Life.
Free copies of the course will be made available to interested teachers with iTunes U accounts in Winter 2014.
As for the interactive iBook Textbooks, the series utilizes rich media features the iPad is famous for to spark students’ imagination concerning our planet and every living thing on it.
Dr. Edward O. Wilson said he was “immensely proud” of the iBooks textbook series that the Foundation is providing at no cost to students and the public.
The seven-unit series was created with Apple’s free iBooks Author app. Although it’s designed specifically for the iPad, the interactive e-books can be enjoyed on the Mac as well, thanks to Apple’s standalone iBooks app for OS X.