Bringing Textbooks To iBooks

All that Steve Jobs did for music, phones and tablets he wanted to do for education, and it became available recently with Apple’s iBooks textbooks. Together, Apple’s new iBooks 2 and the iTunes U apps’ digital courses offer an entirely new kind of textbook that is dynamic, engaging and truly interactive.

iBooks textbooks can be constantly kept up to date, will not weigh down your backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore with most books priced at $14.99 or less. Additionally, with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool, anyone with a Mac can create an iBook textbook of their own.

Some of the key features in the these textbooks are a thumbnail index that marks sections of the book, built-in videos, interactive animations, study cards (based off your own highlights), a custom glossary, and quizzes and review questions. iBooks Author is a free download from the Mac App Store and also lets you create cookbooks, history books, picture books, etc. and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. You can add your own text and images by simple drag and drops. You can easily add photo galleries, movies, keynote presentations, 3D objects.

In addition, Apple unveiled an all-new iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. This lets teachers create and manage courses (including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses) and offer them to millions of iOS users around the world. This gives students the ability to tap into the world’s largest catalog of free educational content from top universities including Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Flipboard for iPhone

Flipboard was named Apple’s iPad App of the Year and one of Time‘s Top 50 Innovations, and now this popular social magazine app is available for your iPhone. The app creates a personalized magazine with everything being shared with you, from Facebook and Twitter updates to Instagram photos from your friends and articles from your favorite publications.

Smaller and smarter, this iPhone version adds the Cover Stories feature. It’s an intuitive section that learns from your interactions with the content, created for when you want to check quickly for interesting news or updates. It gives you one place to catch up on the most interesting news, updates and photos being shared at the moment, tailored to you.

Your Flipboard display is a vertical flip, so you can use a single thumb swipe up to quickly flip through content (versus the horizontal flip on an iPad).

As with the iPad version, it’s aesthetically pleasing with its nicely rendered layouts and style guides. You can connect to your social networks in one place (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Google Reader, Flickr, 500px) and do customized searches.

Download the free Flipboard for iPhone from the iTunes App Store. Visit flipboard.com or twitter.com/flipboard for more information.

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