Digital Texts Taking Off

K-12 textbooks are moving into the digital age with blinding speed, as McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — publishers responsible for more than 90 percent of K-12 content — have created “Multi-Touch” textbooks for the Apple iPad.

Users of Apple’s new iBooks app, launched three weeks ago, racked up more than 350,000 downloads of e-textbooks in the first two weeks. And the new iBooks Author program has achieved 90,000 to 110,000 downloads, according to the Global Equities Research tracking system. iBooks Author enables writers and creators to use Apple’s platform to publish their own books.

According to experts, publishers have the potential to make more money from e-textbooks (priced at $14.99 each) than from physical books, because the former cost 80 percent less to produce than the latter.

The Multi-Touch texts are a sight to behold. They are dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive — what one wag calls “a textbook brought to life by iPad.”

According to Apple:

“No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3-D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

“Interactive photo galleries bring images to life. Animations burst off the page. Pictures tell a bigger story when they’re interactive. Callouts and pan-and-zoom features add even more to the experience.”

Highlighting and note-taking is also easier with Multi-Touch textbooks. The swipe of a finger highlights passages. Tap a highlighted section, and a palette appears that enables users to change colors, switch to underlining, or add a note instantly. With a switch to the “Notes” function, users can view all notes and highlights organized in one place.

—More info: www.apple.com/education/ibooks-textbooks/

K-12 textbooks are moving into the digital age with blinding speed, as McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — publishers responsible for more than 90 percent of K-12 content — have created “Multi-Touch” textbooks for the Apple iPad.

Users of Apple’s new iBooks app, launched three weeks ago, racked up more than 350,000 downloads of e-textbooks in the first two weeks. And the new iBooks Author program has achieved 90,000 to 110,000 downloads, according to the Global Equities Research tracking system. iBooks Author enables writers and creators to use Apple’s platform to publish their own books.

According to experts, publishers have the potential to make more money from e-textbooks (priced at $14.99 each) than from physical books, because the former cost 80 percent less to produce than the latter.

The Multi-Touch texts are a sight to behold. They are dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive — what one wag calls “a textbook brought to life by iPad.”

According to Apple:

“No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3-D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

“Interactive photo galleries bring images to life. Animations burst off the page. Pictures tell a bigger story when they’re interactive. Callouts and pan-and-zoom features add even more to the experience.”

Highlighting and note-taking is also easier with Multi-Touch textbooks. The swipe of a finger highlights passages. Tap a highlighted section, and a palette appears that enables users to change colors, switch to underlining, or add a note instantly. With a switch to the “Notes” function, users can view all notes and highlights organized in one place.

—More info: www.apple.com/education/ibooks-textbooks/

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