The iPad Goes to School - dummies

The iPad Goes to School

Apple has been pushing iPads in K-12 and higher education. As part of its vision for the iPad and with iBooks 2 and beyond, the company is throwing its considerable weight behind digital textbooks, works that include interactive captions, quizzes, 3D objects, and video. Apple even unveiled free software for the Mac called iBooks Author to encourage teachers and others to produce their own interactive books for learning.

In the meantime, among the early high school textbooks produced for the iPad are titles that cover algebra, environmental sciences, physics, and other subjects.

Meanwhile, if a book supports it, you can turn your notes into Study Cards — a great way for students to learn vocabulary or prepare for exams. (If the option is available, you’ll see an icon that looks like a notepad just to the right of the Table of Contents button.)

You can swipe the cards to move from one to another, or tap a card to see one side with glossary terms or material you’ve highlighted, on the other any notes you’ve supplied.

So far, there aren’t a lot of new textbooks that support Apple’s vision. But with the backing of such prominent textbook publishers as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson, it would appear to be only a matter of time. What’s more, some third-party publishers such as Kno and Inkling are also producing some interesting interactive textbooks.

According to Apple, hundreds of thousands of books in the iBooks Store can be used in school curriculums, including novels for English or social studies. A world of educational content is also accessible via the iTunes U app.

As you consider these various efforts, you might wish you’d had an iPad with digital textbooks back when you were in school.

While educational materials are a main impetus behind iBooks 3, there are other books rich in audio, video, and other interactive materials that take full advantage of Apple’s latest software.