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Apple Introduces iBooks 2 During its ‘Education Event’

Phillip Schiller
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, discusses iBooks textbooks available from Pearson for iPad, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in New York. IBooks 2 will be able to display books with videos and other interactive features. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, discusses iBooks textbooks available from Pearson for iPad, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Remember when high school students were given hand-me-down textbooks at the beginning of each school year that required gaudy book covers to protect hardcover books that seemed ancient?

Well those textbooks aren’t totally going away, but Apple is trying to make learning in classrooms more interactive with the help of several educational programs released on Thursday.

Apple announced a new service that they hope will “reinvent” textbooks by offering iBooks 2 for iPad, which features interactive iBook textbooks. The textbooks will contain interactive animations, diagrams, photos, and videos, the popular computer company said on Thursday.

“Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement.

The textbooks, however, have to purchased, while printed books are provided to students by schools, and according to the Associated Press, the textbooks will cost $15 or less. There is also another problem: not every student owns an iPad and a high number of school districts are strapped for cash and may not be able to provide students with the popular tablet to use for educational purposes.

During the education event in New York, Apple also announced iBooks Author, which allows people to create their own textbooks, cookbooks, history books and picture books and publish them on to Apple’s iBookstore.

Both, iBooks Author and IBooks 2, are available for free download at Apple’s app store.

The company also announced a new feature for iTunes U, which would allow teachers to publish curriculum, syllabuses, quizzes and other education-related content for free through the program.

This “enables students anywhere to tap into entire courses from the world’s most prestigious universities,” away from the classroom, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

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