Apple announces a revolution in the education world

Textbooks as thick as tree trunks and weighing tons, lectures and burning the midnight oil at libraries are what people generally think of when education is brought up, but that all is set to change if Apple is to have their way.

On Thursday Apple finally made the highly anticipated announcement on education and announced an ambitious plan to not only reinvent the textbook, but also bring the university to iPads.

iBooks 2, dubbed a “new textbook experience for the iPad”, will allow textbooks to be embedded with video content and introductory movies, enriching the student’s learning experience. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for educators and students as visual aid is integral component to the education experience. Teachers in the past have used VCRs to show their students videos, advanced to Youtube in recent years and now, the iPad may just be the next thing on the list. Multitouch navigation will also be used on the digital textbooks, which will also enable students to manipulate integrated 3D models for biology texts, for example. This new generation of text books definitely go well beyond static text and even media-rich e-books.then you tap to launch.

The books will also feature built-in, linked glossaries and tables of content to make navigation as easy as ABC, and there will also be a search function integrated. Textbooks in iBooks 2 also incorporate highlighting, note-taking and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter that also provide immediate feedback (no more hunting for answers at other locations in other words) . Notes and highlights will also automatically turned into flash cards for study purposes.

You lucky students of the future, could learning be made any more convenient, fun and easy?

What’s the catch? The books will not be free, but will cost a fraction of the price they are sold at in hard copy. That’s not much of a catch is it? given all the added functions and portability of the digital copy.

That’s not all, Apple also introduced an all new iTunes U , which offers full college-level courses straight to the iPad or mobile device. The app will make all course materials. lectures and homework assessable from the devices thus those aspiring to learn something new don’t even have to leave the comfort of their homes.

Authors weren’t left out in the fun; Apple also introduced iBooks Author, a free application that allows users to create their own educational books with the ability to input text, graphics as well as interactive areas for users to read on the iPad. This brings publishing to a whole new level, and everyone aspiring to impart some knowledge to others will be able to create their own textbooks. The main question that’s on everyone’s minds however is quality control, how is Apple going to ensure the quality of the content that people create with iBooks Author?

Apple’s announcement has caused more than just a few question marks to appear in everyone’s minds. How are they going to make sure that this technology reaches as many as possible and not only those who are able to afford the iPad and Apple devices? Is the iPad the only device the iBooks will be available on? Well, aside from these questions, Apple’s foray into the education market certainly does seem like what we have envisioned education to be in the future since a while back. I for one am very excited to see how education will be after Apple’s done with it.

The world seems to be just a few thoughts away from a revolution in education; no doubt one that is led by Apple.

 

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