Apple's new iBooks are set to revolutionize education and make the promise of true digital education a reality.
The newest version of iBooks offers students of all ages something that's more than the sum of its parts. In many ways, it simply consolidates all the learning tools technology had already brought to the classroom - audio and video, electronic texts, interactive quizzes, searchable indexes and glossaries, and the age-old ability to highlight and notate text for future reference. But, as Apple products often do, iBooks 2 not only consolidates features but pares them back to focus on the actual task at hand: learning.
This is what makes iBooks 2 and the handful of textbooks already available in the iBookstore unique among the many education tools that have come across computer screens over the past 30-plus years. There are features centered around the task of absorbing information, each tackling a subtly different way of learning -- visually through static and interactive graphics, by reading text, and through video clips. In typical Apple fashion, there are no unneeded bells and whistles.