Apple Expands Availability of iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager to Over 50 Countries

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple announced today that it has expanded availability of iBooks Textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager to over 50 total countries, including new countries such as Brazil, Italy, Japan, Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Overall, Apple states that iBooks Textbooks are now available in 51 total countries, while the iTunes U Course Manager has expanded to include a total of 70 countries.

    Apple originally announced iBooks Textbooks at an education-focused media event in 2012, as a part of a push into the education market.

    Article Link: Apple Expands Availability of iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager to Over 50 Countries
  2. macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
    Cool! I wish my teachers would use iBooks Textbooks...
  3. macrumors 601


    Mar 2, 2012
    More schools should implement this. I'd rather not have to carry 4 textbooks around my school.
  4. macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    More and more schools will eventually use tablets. I think it's pretty obvious that the good ol' textbook will get replaced sooner or later by the tablet / tablet computer or laptop.

    Apple is trying to be the one with the most easily integrated solution for education. iTunes U and / or iBooks is brilliant. Teachers have to get used to the idea though.

    Now, if only the Volume Purchase Program would be made available for the same 50+ countries... ;)
  5. macrumors newbie


    May 23, 2008
    Great, now I just need iBooks Author and iTunes Course Manager to both be on the iPad! Sigh.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    how is all this progressing?

    since the initial demonstration and release there hasnt been that much news
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2012
    And where the list of those 50+ countries can be found?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    I had to poke around the iTunes U site to find this:

  9. macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2012
    They need to look at other countires

    Since they were caught fixing prices in the US and cannot do it anymore there, I think they are expanding to other countries, till they are caught there too..Bad Apple.../s
  10. macrumors 65816

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    Yupp, this technology will be up and running when I'm long gone from the educational system, hooray.

    Don't get me wrong, great for all who follow us, but wow, what a teaser to see how stuff could be so SO much better and then everyone's sleeping and missing the memo.


    Glassed Silver:mac
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    I admit, it sure looks pretty...


    And I'm not doubting, that apple has consulted with (if not recruited) some learning materials professionals, but I do have my doubts...

    1st off, Having been a student or teacher for nearly all of my life, I claim to have some and quite diverse experience with learning materials. And while the promo material Apple has published sure looks pretty, I doubt whether it makes as much pedagogical sense. In my experience (and in line with scholars in the discipline), the act of growing one's knowledge necessitates both introspection and deliberation. In the case of most students, this actually necessitates a slow pace, and is as such not helped by interacting with your textbook (coincidentally, the biggest selling point).

    Secondly, I'm not sure it is coincidental that most of the promo pictures Apple has supplied are decidedly short on facts (instead focusing on snazzy gfx). The real question re the suitability of any tablet for directed educational use, is whether the technology actually supports the learning or not. I know this has been discussed at length, but let me just offer my angle: Many years ago the local market leader in primary education materials made a big push into eLearning materials. I and my team were in on the project and we did a lot of interactive exercises for different courses (e.g. 7th grade geography). While it was a lot of work, we were happy with what the system looked like and what it was able to offer. I later had a chat with the product manager, who reported, their company would be "heading back to the drawing board". While other reasons (classroom IT, teachers' attitudes, budgets) were also cited, one noteworthy aspect was that students almost systematically regarded the exercises' "learning" -part and went right into interacting with the quizzes, resulting in a lot of wrong answers and "very little learning". In fact, the person noted, that in the classrooms he had observed, students seemed bent on crashing or out-foxing the quizzes or (in the most positive cases) had a race to see who could click/type themselves through the exercises the fastest...

    Finally, (although I could go on), there is a problem with the "economic rationale". Assuming that a national (or state) education system cannot migrate "over night", these electronic textbooks will have to coexist with paper textbooks for a number of years, thus adding significant costs for both buyers and suppliers. In most areas/nations/states of the world, the "market" will not be big enough for the added investment to seem lucrative. In contrast to e.g. the market for music (I'm thinking iTunes store), the market for educational materials is both regimented and follow tight guidelines for curricula (most administrations having their own views of what 7th grade geography should cover), further exacerbated by that (although it may not be apparent in the bay area) most of the world's schools don't teach in english - in short, the market is highly fragmented, and buyers' decisions are not to be swayed by nice marketing. Except for some selective schools in the US and UK (who might actually compete for the affluents' kids), schools may also not find the concept to have any "market value".


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