iBooks textbooks. To be honest I've seen it coming from the beginning. For several years, I've thought that some day a magical Device will come and take the heavy load of my schoolbag off my back. When the iPod Touch came out, I thought I had the gift of foresight. But its size was traumatic for the optically challenged masses. The vision fell down and the backpack somehow managed to climb up my back. Then came the iPad. Books were literally the first thing I thought of when the device was announced, although admittedly not the textbook variety. ( pun intended )
When I realized that Apple hadn't any real provision for textbooks on the iPad. Or rather no marketed provision for textbooks, I wrote them a mail with the suggestion to include textbook facilities in the iPad. Although I received no reply, I realized it was only a matter of time before the genii behind Apple inventions thought of it for himself.
Anyway, Apple decided to market the facility better than I'd have thought ( although exceeding expectations is undoubtedly one of their specialties ). And loaded with several more features especially for textbooks than one would expect. The facility to load video and audio was quite obviously, expected considering the fact that the iPad is an LED backlit handheld Tablet which works beautifully as a portable media player.
But as it turns out the iBooks application was also blessed with the capability to use 3D images in textbooks.
So as said by Apple, "rather than seeing just the cross section of a brain, you can see the whole thing". Its potential for being "groundbreaking technology" in the field of education was furthered by the "interactive image" widget and the ability to view keynotes ( presentations ) and a gallery of images rather than just a single one.
The interactive image widget allows pan and zooming in images for better education. So you can see diagrams and figures in far greater detail
And the note taking and highlighting ability doesn't hurt either.
Nor does the fact that the top K-12 publishers are now making multi-touch textbooks for iPad.
So where does one purchase these textbooks which students "just won't put down" ? Why, at the iBookstore of course.
But obviously this won't reach the same level as the App store, since not everyone has the facility or the capability to make such textbooks. Right ?
Apple seems to have provided both the facility and the capability to produce multi-touch interactive textbooks with its easy-to-use, beautifully designed free software - iBooks Author - available on the Mac App store