Apple’s iBooks Textbooks & iTunes U Course Manager hit new markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe

iTunes U, Text Books

Update: Apple says iBooks Textbooks are available in all countries with a paid iBooks store and that a full updated list of countries with access to iTunes U Course Manager can be found on its enrollment website.

Apple just put out a press release announcing that it’s expanding availability of its educational content– iBooks Textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager– into new international markets. Starting today, both of the services are rolling out to new countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, bringing the total number of countries with textbooks up to 51 and the total number with access to the iTunes U Course Manager to 70. Apple also shared some stats on the growth of iBooks Textbooks, which now cover 100 percent of the US high school core curriculum: Read more

iBooks Textbooks category leaks out on iOS 7 iPhone App Store

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 5.11.31 PM

Following some adjusted wording on iBooks Textbook pages inside of iTunes that ignited speculation of iBooks Textbooks finally becoming compatible with the iPhone, a new iBooks Textbooks category has begun populating on the iOS 7 App Store for iPhone. The section is currently accessible via the Education category of the store.

As you can see in the screenshots above and below, the category is not currently populated or fully functional. However, there is promotional imagery for several categories (including Life Sciences, Humanities, and a High School Core Curriculum) that is fully optimized for the size of the iPhone’s display…

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Eleven “Steve Jobs schools” to open w/ iPad-based curriculum next month in the Netherlands

Back in March, educators in the Netherlands were proposing “Steve Jobs schools” that would augment the traditional classroom environment by moving to an iPad-based education system. Today Speigel.de provides us with a little bit more information noting that eleven schools are scheduled to open next month with over 1,000 children aged 4 to 12.

It’s not clear if the “Steve Jobs school” moniker will stick as the official name of the facilities, but the report explains a little bit more about exactly how the program will work: Read more

Global Equities Research: iBooks Textbooks downloaded 350,000 times in three days

According to Global Equities Research (via AllThingsD), the new inexpensive digital textbooks Apple launched last Thursday at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City was downloaded over 350,000 times in just three days. iBooks Author, a new free of charge Mac tool to author iBooks Textbooks, saw 90,000 downloads in the same period. This data is not official and is derived from the investment firm’s proprietary tracking system that monitors Apple’s iBook sales.

Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry said the numbers could be deciphered as “a recipe for Apple’s success in the textbook industry.” Apple’s new digital textbooks are priced at $14.99 or less and are available from several launch partners, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and DK Publishing.

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McGraw-Hill CEO gives credit for iBooks textbooks vision to Steve Jobs

Following Apple’s big education announcements yesterday with the introduction of iBooks 2.0, iBooks Author, and the iTunes U iOS app, the CEO of publisher McGraw-Hill Terry McGraw —one of Apple’s partners bringing textbooks to the iBookstore— sat down with All Things D to discuss the new partnership. When asked how long his company has been in talks with Apple, McGraw discussed meeting with Jobs:

Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here. I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together. He should be here. He probably is [gesturing up and around]. This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad.

We already learned in Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography that Jobs had his “sights set on textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform.” According to the book, Jobs’ “idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions” for the iPad. We also knew he held meetings with major publishers, but we now know he was still working on the textbook projects until at least June.

All Things D also asked McGraw about the possibility of bringing similar content to Google’s platforms. McGraw avoided answering the question directly:
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