Live: Apple education event, January 19

Lex Friedman & Dan Moren
20 January, 2012
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6:56 Lex: There are a couple large iMacs up on the stage, and a large white Apple projected onto the screen.

7:01 Apple discussing popularity of iPads in education

7:06 Two initiatives today

7:07 Lex: #1 Reinventing textbooks – Books are incredible things, Phil says. We love them.

Fast-forward more than a few hundred years, and the textbook is clearly not the ideal learning tool any more.

If your district’s budget is squeezed, and you’re handing down worn, used, written-in books: Not ideal.

A bulleted features list for textbooks.

7:07 Lex: Phil mentions iPad as the future of the textbook: It’s more portable, more durable, interactive, searchable, current, up to date after student deployment…

Phil announces iBooks 2: a new textbook experience for the iPad.

Moren: These are beautiful books, interactive, fun, gorgeous, engaging—kids are gonna love to learn with textbooks in iBooks (2).

Lex: He’s going to show them to us, with Roger Rosner, VP for Productivity Software.

Rosner begins demo.

7:09 Lex: Imagine I’m a HS student studying biology. I launch iBooks, see my shelf, see my textbooks.(It’s an interactive book. It’s actually a video, which is the easiest kind of book to read.)

7:10 Lex: He can swipe through page thumbnails across the pages, swipe above to skip through chapters.

Lex: Tap a thumbnail to go to a specific page. And of course swipe to next page.

Lex: And the books are gorgeous, with rich, engaging layouts and interactive experiences.

Lex: Pinching up an interactive element to full screen, then zoom in to animated cell structure imagery.

Lex: No printed textbook could compete, Rosner says.

Lex: When done, I pinch back to the next page, swipe to turn the page, and find another great interactive section.

7:11 Lex: A 3-D model in the middle of a book page, which he can rotate with his finges. Swiping to increase density of the images as we look at insides of a cell. Switch to portrait. We re-layout the book.

Lex: The images and interactives are all on the left; the right side is akin to Reader mode.

7:12 Lex:Pinch the page to get back to Table of Contents

Lex: Our books have two complete different reading experiences, and I can use whichever suits me best.

Lex: These are by far the coolest, most engaging digital textbooks ever done. But this just scratches the surface.

Lex: I can tap on words to see their definition, tap into the glossary—some defs. include images.Index links take me back to the appropriate page in the book to read more about what I’m researching

7:14 Lex: A good built-in glossary and index is key, to my mind. There was nothing more frustrating than trying to look up something in the back of the book only to find it didn’t have what you were looking for.

Lex: Books can also be searched. Tap to expose toolbar, type your search, get suggested search. Now you get a list of every place where your term appears, including with context. Tap to jump right there. Also search for a page number. Teacher says “go to page 34,” type 34 in search and go right there. Super fast and fluid, Rosner says.

Moren: The interface for iBooks 2 seems a little more staid than the original iBooks. Looks a bit more like Keynote or Pages than the faux book UI of the first version.

Looking at an image on one page, that’s actually a gallery of image. You can swipe to turn through as if in a slideshow. Tap to zoom it fullscreen.

Lex: In iBooks 2, our digital textbook reviews include a summary, and then a multiple choice question with image answers.Turns a static list into an interactive review.

Lex: Another super-critical study tool for students is highlights and note taking. Your finger is always ready with iBooks 2: Just swipe over text to highlight.

7:17 Moren: I was never much of a note-taker in high school, but for those that were, I think this is potentially a lot easier. Especially because you can quickly review all the notes and highlights in one simple location.

Lex: A very cool assembly of all your notes and highlights. Study card option turns your highlights into virtual index cards to swipe through.

7:18 Lex: Glossary terms can also become study cards; terms on front, definitions on the back. You can shuffle up the cards in random order, too.

Moren: You can make some great flash cards out of these. That’s nice—especially being able to shuffle them.

Lex: Jump back to the bookshelf, and then tap into the iBookstore. Tap categories, and see new iBookstore categories view with new Textbooks category.Tap on a book, and you see the familiar iBookstore interface—with a new addition: Screenshots.

7:19 Lex: You can still download free samples, and there’s one-tap purchasing (or code redemption), and you own the book forever and can redownload it as needed.

Lex: Phil returns to stage.

7:20 Lex: Recapping: Gorgeous, fullscreen books. Interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos. Fast, fluid navigation. Highlighting and note-taking. Searching and definitions. Lesson reviews and study cards.

Lex:  iBooks 2 is in the App Store, and it’s free.

7:21 Lex:  Pleased to be the first to tell us about iBooks Author, a new app.

Lex: iBooks Author is a Mac application that lets you create everything we just saw.

Moren:  Creation is the big question here. In order to produce good content, you need to make it easy for the content creators to make it.

Lex: Easy to use, powerful, feature-rich, and authors will love using it. Not just for textbooks, but ANY kind of book.

Lex: But most of all, we focused on Textbooks. Here comes Roger, again, to show it to us.

Lex: Traditionally, creating digital textbooks has been really hard. No longer.

7:22 Moren: This has been on the wishlist for non-textbook creators too.

Lex: iBooks Author launches with template chooser. Includes Apple-designed templaes, as you’d expact.

Lex: The interface is similar to iWork apps.

Lex: Toolbar at the top, content sidebar at the left, including book cover and glossary as well as pages.

Lex: Main interface is a rich, WYSIWYG editor space.

7:23 Lex: Clicks on the cover of the book, drags image onto placeholder, and it’s there right away. Clicks to set the title, which appears on the Bookshelf in iBooks 2. Drags in a movie for Intro Media.

7:24 Lex: We know a lot of people have great content already in Word or Pages. I can drag a Word file in from the finder and drop it onto the text, and it uses the styles to automatically create sections, headers, and layout.

Lex:  The demo was awesome, though we didn’t see the source Word doc to know how it looked.

Lex:  For interactive stuff, he clicks the Widgets button. There’s a gallery of Widget options that Author understands. He picked the image gallery, dragged a bunch of images onto the widget, positioned the widget, resized the widget. It just worked.

7:25 Lex:”Everything you create in iBooks Author is completely WYSIWYG.”

Lex: We built Keynote. So we figured, let’s combine it so you can create interactive experiences without needing to learn programming.

7:26 Lex: What if you want to go even more custom? Say, something that uses the Internet to hit a db, or uses mathematical stuff. If you can write code in HTML and JavaScript, you can do this. The same developers for OS X Widgets works for iBooks Author.

7:28 Moren: Rosner points out this is a huge timesaver, and I think we can vouch for that first hand.

Lex: Publishing to iBookstore is very simple. But what if you want to see it on your iPad first? Push the preview button, and if you have an iPad connected to your Mac, we build the book live, send it across the wire, and you can see it live in iBooks.

7:29 Lex: We’re seeing the book he just built, live on his iPad. Very cool.

Demo complete. Phil back, recapping again.

7:30 Lex: Anyone can create stunning, interactive books. From textbooks to cookbooks to travel books to whatever you can imagine. Beautiful templates, multitouch widgets, photos, and videos, extend with HTML5 and JavasScript, and publish to iBookstore.

Lex: They say “begin the process of publishing to iBookstore.”

Lex:  It could cost hundreds of dollars, Phil says. But we wanted to get it in the hands of anyone.

Phil announces iBooks Author is free.It’s available today at the Mac App Store.

7:32 Lex:  High school textbooks is where we’re starting. $14 or less.

7:33am Lex: Educational learning companies have given us a ton of advice. Including Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Together, these three companies account for 90 percent of textbooks sold in the US

7:34 Lex: Here’s what Pearson’s been doing: They’ve made Algebra 1, Biology, Environmental Science, and Geometry. Used by 4 million students worldwide. Two available today, the math books coming shortly thereafter.

Lex: McGraw Hill: Hard at work with Algebra 1, Biology, Chemistry, Geom, Physics. All five are available today in the Textbooks section of iBookstore.

7:35 Lex: Now it’s not just about high school and textbooks. We worked with DK publishing.

Lex: They make books for all different grade levels, four launching today: Dinosaurs, Insects, Mammals, and My First ABC

7:36 Lex: E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is another partner. If you don’t know E.O. Wilson, you should. A professor emeritus at Harvard, distinguished biologist, two-time Pulitzer winner, and more.

Lex: He’s launched Life On Earth, an attempt to recreate the biology textbook.

Lex: It’s an amazing project, coming exclusively to the iBookstore. The first two chapters are complete and available free today in the iBookstore.

7:37 Lex: Additional chapters will be made available in the iBookstore, at a VERY aggressive price, Phil says.

Lex: We’re so excited about iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and the textbooks store—so we made a video.

Lex: Video being played.

Lex: It drills home the points you’d imagine.Namely: Learning is good. Paper textbooks aren’t awesome. Interactive iBooks textbooks are.

7:38 Lex: Textbooks: They’re heavy! They get worn! They age! Students stop bringing them to class! Students shouldn’t live like it’s 1950!

7:39 Lex:iBooks 2 lets textbooks come to life in ways that aren’s possible on the printed page: Audio! Video! Interactivity! Instead of 30 pounds of books, you just need one iPad.

7:40 Moren:I’m wondering if the second part of this announcement is going to be to explain how Apple plans on incentivizing educational institutions to invest in iPads. Because as affordable as they are, they’re still very expensive for many students to buy on their own.

7:41 Lex: The video reinforces that iBooks 2 and iBooks Author are free, and that Apple’s excited about it helping students, teachers, and publishers.

Lex:The note taking interface really does look well-implemented, without requiring that you tap extra buttons. Just swipe over text, then tap your highlight to add the note. They will have to make the Note Margin Icon easier to tap, if Roger’s demo is any guide (he kept unintentionally turning pages when he tried to tap it).

7:42 Lex: iBooks 2 is literally available now in the App Store.

Lex: Tap to update your apps, and you’ll see it.

Lex: Apple hasn’t clarified whether these interactive books will work on the iPhone version of iBooks, or in what form.

Lex: Obviously the rich iPad layouts wouldn’t translate one-to-one to the iPhone’s smaller screen.

Video ends.

7:44 Lex: Phil retakes the stage once again.

7:45 Lex: “That is reinventing the textbook. That’s the FIRST thing we wanted to tell you about today.”

Lex: Now Eddy Cue takes the stage.

Lex: Cue: The second thing we’re doing for education is Reinventing Curriculum.

Lex: To do that, let’s talk iTunes U

Lex: Which lets professors around the word share their lectures and lessons with anyone around the world using iTunes and iOS.

7:46 Lex: Over 1,000 universities are already using iTunes U to deliver education contente.

Lex: It’s the #1 largest catalog of free education content in the world.

Lex: It’s used primarily to deliver lectures. Looking at an MIT Physics lecture

7:47 Lex: A professor putting his life in danger by trusting in Physics.

Lex: Classroom and live press event audience appreciate that professor’s demonstration.

Lex: We want to let teachers do more—full online courses.

Lex: Today, we’re announcing iTunes U app.

Lex: Lets teachers and students do everything they need with an app.

Lex: Jeff Robbin, VP of iTunes, to begin demo.

7:48 Lex: Looking at the iTunes U app for iPad.

Lex: It looks a lot like iBooks. Darker bookshelf. All of your courses neatly connected in one place, or you can view them in list view. New complete online courses. Looking at a real course from Duke. (“Core Concepts in Chem.”)

7:49 Lex: All new courses start out with topics on the left: Overview, Instructor, Outline. You can customize with additional topics like Office Hours, and Credits

Lex: Info, Posts, Notes, and Materials are in tabs on the right.

Lex: Posts is where teachers post notes to the class, including assignments.

Lex: As new messages are posted, you automatically receive a notification. Looking at his next assignmente.

Lex: It tells him to read a book; tapping it launches that book, to that page, in the iBookstore.

7:50 Lex: This is a lesson that was created with iBooks Author, and it works just like the textbooks we saw earlier. Can make highlights and notes the same way. When I’m done, I switch back to iTunes U and check off the assignment as complete.

Lex: Looking at my text assignment, to watch a video. With iTunes U, you can either download these videos to the iPad, or just tap to stream them.

Lex: He’s tapped to stream a video where we’re learning about studying the pH of a raindrop.When you’re done, tap back, and mark that assignment complete, too.

Lex: Now looking at the Notes tab in the iTunes U app.

7:51 Lex: Gathers all the notes from your books and courses in one place

Lex: Tap the Materials tab to see all the materials for the course collected in one spot. They can contain audio, video, books, documents (PDFs, Pages, Keynote), and even Apps.

Lex: For the materials I don’t have, I can buy them within iTunes U

7:52 Lex: Tap the Store to flip into the iTunes U catalogue.

Lex: You can see ratings, descriptions, and the outline. When you’re ready to take it, just tap the Subscribe button.

Lex: That is the all-new iTunes U app. Eddy back.

7:53 Lex: That’s iTunes U: Full courses with video, documents, apps, and books. You can see the syllabus and all assignments. Teacher posts and updates. iBooks notes integration.

Lex: Cue: Universities around the world are already using iTunes U.

Lex: UCLA, Berkeley, University of Paris, Tokyo.

Lex: Six schools had access to the new tech, and have created more than 100 new online courses.

Lex:iTunes U has primarily been used by higher-ed. It hasn’t been available for K through 12 schools—until today. Now, K through 12 schools can sign up, too.

7:54 Lex: And this means that teachers in these schools will now be able to deliver full online courses to their students and to anyone else—for free.

Lex: Tunes U app is free, available today.In 123 countries.

Lex: Phil is back.

Lex: Phil: Apple exists at the intersection between liberal arts and tech; nowhere is that truer than in our love for education.

Lex: It’s as true today as it ever has been before. If you talk to teachers about things Apple’s done through the years, they’ll remember things fondly:

7:55 Lex: The Apple Classroom of Tomorrow—a decade-long study.

7:56 Lex: (These are past Apple edu efforts.)

Lex: Phil: We hope that educators are going to look back on today’s announcements just as fondly, and see that they were more profound.

Lex: iBooks, iBooks Author, and iTunes U

Lex: We’re really proud of what the teams have done and how hard they’ve worked to deliver these products today.

7:57 Lex: They do it because all of us at Apple know that we can empower people through learning, and technology has a role to play to help in doing that.

Lex: iBooks Author now on the Mac App Store:

Lex: That’s it – Phil’s inviting the press to join him to try out these new products and the authoring tool.

We’ll have more coverage of all of Apple’s announcements throughout the day, so stay tuned to

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