Given that we just recently announced that all of our ninth graders would purchase iPads, we are thrilled by Apples' recent announcement this week about apps that may change the textbook paradigm. We have long been frustrated that while less expensive digital versions of popular books proliferate, the availability of ebooks has only recently begun to slowly increase. Apple's announcement dangles the near future promise of $14.99 multimedia rich K-12 textbooks that never grow out of date.
Regardless of how soon these titles begin showing up on our students' iPads, we can safely conclude that Apple's move will trigger shockwaves throughout the industry and accelerate the availability of texts.
Easy to overlook in the news about Apple's agreement with publishers is the new "iBooks Author" app. This tool immediately offers teachers the prospect of self-publishing their own materials in multimedia rich book form. For students with iPads these "texts" will sit right along their digital bookshelves next to their other books and will contain many of the same features.
Here is a link to an excellent summary of Apple's Announcement:
Apple Goes Back to School with iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and iTunes U