The Textbook, Reinvented

Yesterday, Apple announced a joint initiative with publishers to bring textbooks to the iPad. This move would make them cheaper, lighter, always up to date, and—of interest to us—more richly illustrated and interactive.

When we set out to bring textbooks to iPad, there were really three areas we focused on: we wanted to have really fast, fluid navigation, we wanted to have beautiful graphics, we wanted to create an easier way to take notes.

—Roger Rosner, VP Productivity Applications, Apple

Apple also released a free iBooks authoring suite, iBooks Author. This application enables anyone to write, design, create interactive modules, and publish a book to the iBooks store for sale.

Medical Illustration in iPad Textbook

Scientific Illustration in iPad Textbook

While I’m not sure that the iPad is a more durable medium than paper for kindergardeners through high school students (could you see yourself in your garage with a iHaynes manual?), this is certainly an encouraging development for our trade. It demonstrates that people learn best, are enthusiastic about learning, when information is presented in a highly visual, immersive way.

The choice of graphics shown might also be a signal that if you’re not dabbling in 3D, motion and interactivity yet, it might be a good time to start. Remember, every threat is also an opportunity.

One thought on “The Textbook, Reinvented

  1. says

    Looks good! Just installed the iBooks Author Application. Looking forward to test it and compare it to the documents I’ve recently created with InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite.

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