Friday, January 20, 2012

Ibooks 2, ibooks author and itunes u app

Endgadgets has a brief summary of the latest Apple launch. An educational focus with details of ibooks 2 for purchase of textbooks, free Mac app - ibooks author - for those who want to compile their own textbooks and put them up on itunes and an ipad app for itunes U. A more educationally focused summary from the Guardian provides some balance.

Unfortunately, ibook has always been a dud in New Zealand as we are only able to access a small range of 'free' classics . Similar thing now with ibook 2, textbooks are only accessible within the US of A. As a teaser, there are two interactive books that we can download in NZ.  One a pretty picture book with animation is for younger children (the yellow submarine) and the other, and Introduction to life on earth. Both provide good examples of what is possible with interactive books, with a facilities for the book to be read out (yellow submarine) and video and interactive windows/sections (life on earth).

On the bright side, it will be interesting to try out ibooks author to compile interative textbooks. Something we will work on through the next couple of months. The ibooks author app is now downloaded onto the Learning Technologies Unit sandpit Mac and I have emailed a few tutors who might be interested, to try it out. 

I downloaded the Itunes U app on to my ipad this morning. A nice, clean interface which recognised my current itunes podcasts and popped them on to the bookshelf.  Straight –forward app store type layout to find and download more pod or vodcasts. I have been working my way through a series of podcasts from Oxford University on 'critical reasoning for beginners' and now downloaded a series on 'Nietzsche on mind and nature'. About 4-5 hours of podcasts on Nietzche, enough for the next two months of dog walkies :)