Apple executives took the stage at its education event at the Guggenheim museum in New York City this morning, where the company unveiled two education initiatives: Reinventing Textbooks with “iBooks 2″ and “iBooks Author,” an e-book authoring tool for Mac.

As expected, Vice President of Productivity Software and iWork Roger Rosner took the stage immediately following the announcement to demo iBooks 2. Rosner launched a biology textbook starting with a dramatic introduction video and continued to show off the interactive textbook’s features including 3D models, improved index with page number search, index links back into the book, and the ability to pinch to get to the Table of Contents. Rosner also showed how the textbooks have different layouts depending on whether you are in landscape or portrait mode.

To accompany the demo, Apple’s worldwide marketing head Phil Schiller announced a new Textbook category for the iBookstore that you can access here. Apple iBooks 2.0 is available for free on the App Store now, and it is compatible with both iPhone and iPad, but textbooks appear to only be available to iPad users. The company also updated its website with an iBooks 2 tour.

Other features demonstrated by Rosner include interactive Q&A content for students and teachers at the end of chapters, and he highlighted a few note taking tools. Rosner demoed how a user’s notes and highlights can be instantly turned into study cards. Also, Apple quoted worldwide marketing head Phil Schiller as saying:

Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the worldNow 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.

So how do developers and publishers create these content rich textbooks? With a little help from Apple’s new creation tool called iBooks Author, that’s how. We’ve also learned that high school textbooks would start at $14.99 or less with a full list of partners and books available today here. The full press release from Apple is available below.

Check out our full coverage of Apple’s education event and additional assets:

ARTICLELiveblog: Apple’s education-focuse media event in NYC
ARTICLEUpdate on business metrics from Apple’s education event
ARTICLEApple releases iBooks 2, a brand new textbook experience for iPad
ARTICLEApple to price new iBook textbooks at $14.99 or less
ARTICLEApple announces iBooks Author, free Mac app for authoring textbooks
ARTICLEApple launches iTunes U, free iOS app for educators to take courses anywhere
ARTICLEApple releases iTunes 10.5.3 with support for textbook syncing to iPad
ARTICLEHeartwarming clip of teachers and students Apple played at the presser
ARTICLEAn overview of publishing and distribution for iBooks Author
VIDEOGallery of elements that can be used for interactive iBooks
VIDEOThe iBooks Textbooks promo
PRApple reinvents textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad
PRApple unveils all-new iTunes U app for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch
SUPPORTiBooks Author: Best practices for using 3D models
SUPPORTiBooks Author: Use iPad-safe fonts when authoring books
SUPPORTiBooks Author – How to make your iBooks accessible
SUPPORTiBooks Author – Add video to your iBooks
SUPPORTiBooks Author – Publishing and distribution FAQ
CHANGELOGiTunes 10.5.3 for Mac
CHANGELOGiTunes 10.5.3 for Windows (64 bit)
APP STOREiBooks Textbooks section in iTunes
APP STOREiTunes U for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
APP STOREiBooks 2 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
APP STOREiBooks Author for Mac

Apple Reinvents Textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad

New iBooks Author Lets Anyone Create Stunning iBooks Textbooks

NEW YORK—January 19, 2012—Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don’t weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore℠ with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks.

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “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.”

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store™. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of the finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new iBooks 2 app lets students study and learn in more efficient and effective ways than ever before.

iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Authors and publishers of any size can start creating with Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. iBooks Author lets you add your own text and images by simply dragging and dropping, and with the Multi-Touch™ widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote® presentations and 3D objects.

Apple today also announced an all-new iTunes® U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. With the new iTunes U app, students using iPads have access to the world’s largest catalog of free educational content, along with over 20,000 education apps at their fingertips and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBookstore that can be used in their school curriculum, such as novels for English or Social Studies.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store.

*Some content is available only for iPad.

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