Textbooks

iOS 8.4 to bring textbooks and iPad-only iBooks to iPhone

When it’s released ahead, during or after next month’s WWDC, iOS 8.4 should at last make it possible to enjoy digital textbooks on your iPhone. Although Apple makes no mention of this feature in the official release notes accompanying today’s release of iOS 8.4 beta 3, Teddy Svoronos noted it on Twitter.

If true, this is a pretty big deal. In iOS 8.4 beta 3, any publication created with Apple’s free iBooks Author app, not just digital textbooks, is reportedly viewable on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus along with their video content, Study Cards, the glossary, highlights and linked online content.

Amazon releases Kindle Textbook Creator for Mac

The online retail giant Amazon on Thursday announced a brand new application for the Mac which allows anyone to create and publish textbooks on Kindle. Currently in beta and available in English only, the applications can be downloaded to Mac or Windows PCs through Amazon’s website.

Similar to Apple’s iBooks Author app for the Mac, which debuted in 2012, Kindle Textbook Creator makes it easy to create textbooks and other educational material with by augmenting text with graphs, charts and equations and other graphically rich content.

In addition, the app can convert existing PDFs into a digital book, ready for distribution on the Kindle Store.

Apple’s iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager expand to new markets

Today is a big day for Apple’s strides in education as the company in a media release announced a significant expansion of its educational content.

iBooks Textbooks are now available in a total of 51 countries around the globe while iTunes U Course Manager is available to customers in 70 countries, Apple said.

Starting today, iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager are rolling out to new countries in Asia, Latin America and Europe, including Russia, Thailand and Malaysia…

LA school district approves $115M initiative to bring iPads to 38 campuses

The Los Angeles Board of Education has approved a plan to deploy Apple’s iPad tablets to 38 campuses ahead of state tests in the spring, which is part of the school district’s effort to equip additional classrooms with tablets and computers to “revolutionize instruction”, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The proposal is worth an estimated $115 million – enough to purchase between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets for deployment across 38 campuses, as well as a bunch of laptops for seven high schools…

Schools complain of iPad web filter issues after iOS 7 update

Apple’s been making a big push into education in recent months, updating iTunes to allow users under the age of 13 and touting new features in iOS 7. It says the update makes it ‘easier for institutions to put devices in the hands of students.’

But for many schools with student iPads deployed, the update is actually making things more difficult. Various educators across the US are reporting that iOS 7 has left their devices unfiltered when accessing the Internet away from school…

Evidence mounts of iPhone-compatible Textbooks

Apple’s iBookstore is great, especially if you’re an iOS device owner. I’m a heavy reader so I always keep a few e-books on my devices to read whenever I have some free time. As part of Steve Jobs’s dream to reinvent the education, Apple at January 2012’s media event in New York City unveiled interactive Textbooks, a whole new kind of textbook experience.

Having bought a few since, I can safely proclaim interactive digital textbooks the future of education – as in, I wish I were a school kid now. Unfortunately, Textbooks work only on iPads as smaller form-factor iDevices are not supported. Over the past few days, several solid pieces of evidence suggested that iBooks Textbooks are coming to the iPhone and iPod touch.

Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

Apple revises iTunes terms to allow educational accounts for children under 13

Apple has altered its iTunes Terms and Conditions to permit children under the age of 13 to operate individual iTunes accounts created at the request of an ‘approved educational institution,’ signaling the beginning of its next big push into education.

Previously, the company restricted iTunes accounts to children aged 13 or older. But with it landing major iPad distribution deals with school districts, the Mac-maker has announced that it will be changing its policy with the fall release of iOS 7…

L.A. school district to hand out 31,000 iPads to students this year

Last month, word got out that Apple had won a bid for a colossal tablet deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district, which is the second-largest in the country, agreed to buy some $30 million worth of iPads.

Today comes more details about the massive tablet rollout. According to a new report from CITEWorld, the LAUSD plans to distribute over 30,000 free iPads to students this school year in an effort to improve education…

Textbooks are coming to Google’s Play Books in early August

Taking a page from Apple’s book (pun intended), Google’s Play Books service will start carrying textbooks in August, giving students the choice of renting (for six months) or buying electronic textbooks, available on iOS or Android devices.

And in drawing from its Internet roots, the search monster also said electronic textbooks will be available for reading on the web, using any standard desktop web browser. The Internet giant promises a “comprehensive selection of titles” from five major publishing partners: Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning.

Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

iBooks Educational Event Wrap Up

There’s been quite a bit to digest today regarding Apple’s excellent educational event. I think the rumors that we’d see a “Garageband” for iBooks pretty much panned out like we expected.

To sort out all of the details, we’ve compiled a post explaining the highlights from Apple’s event, along with details on the software involved and videos plus download links.

If you’re at all behind on Apple’s Media event this morning, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Watch Apple’s iBooks Textbooks Video

Apple has posted a promotional video for their recently launched iBooks Textbooks feature, and you can watch it right now.

As you’re no-doubt aware of, Apple hosted a media event this morning in NYC to unveil their new education initiative.

We’ve tried the iBooks Textbooks ourselves, and we liked what we saw. Now you can head over to Apple’s website to see a video of their new take on educating the masses via the iPad and iBooks.