Recently at Apple’s education-themed event at the Guggenhiem Museum in New York City, Apple unveiled iBooks Author, a OS X application for creating digital books, available in Apple’s App store to download for free. The idea behind iBooks Author is teachers and other educators should be equipped with tools that empower them to create and distribute their own digital materials to the masses..
Traditional non-digital books are materials that one uses to gain some knowledge and then apply this knowledge to lead a better, more productive life. In short, many believe that if you go to school, graduate and get a job, you will have all the required tools for leading a happy life. The cost of text books, however, is exorbitant and since many students struggle to afford them, text books purchases often represent an obstacle on the road to success.
iBooks Author strives to be to the book industry what iTunes is to the music industry. In 2001, when it was first introduced, iTunes immediately began reshaping the music industry through the iTunes “jukebox” software that lets users create and manage their own music library on their Mac. Today, iTunes accounts for 70 % of all digital song sales in America. In essence, Apple took a simple concept whereby people were given the choice to download a single song for merely 99 cents, rather than downloading the entire album at a higher cost. Initially, most music labels saw this delivery method as a threat, but contrary to popular belief, the iTunes delivery method caused music piracy diminished.
iBooks Author hopes to attain similar success, by staying focused and keeping the process simple through, for example, the use of drag and drop features not only for videos, but for photos and documents too. Moving beyond the main text, authors can also use iBooks Author to arrange glossaries by highlighting and clicking words, and clicking again to add a definition. In addition, authors can use iBooks Author to publish straight to Apple’s App store. Apple is hoping that the iBooks Author app will turn educators in authors, the same way that iMovie and Garageband turned amateur into video and audio editors.
iBooks Author is an amazing program that enables anyone to quickly create a polished interactive e-book. By using iBooks Author, in conjunction with the iPad, teachers can engage in many new and meaningful academic activities with their students, as long as they all own iPads, of course.