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Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 05:41 am PT (08:41 am ET)

Apple expands educational iBooks to new markets in Asia, Latin America & Europe

Apple on Tuesday announced that iBooks Texbooks and iTunes U Course Manager, two education-oriented products from the company, are expanding into new markets around the world, including Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Textbooks


With the additions, iBooks Textbooks are now available in a total of 51 countries, including Brazil, Italy, and Japan. In addition. iTunes U Course Manager is now available in 70 countries, including Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

"The incredible content and tools available for iPad provide teachers with new ways to customize learning unlike ever before," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We can't wait to see how teachers in even more countries will create their new lesson plans with interactive textbooks, apps and rich digital content."

Apple first launched digital iBooks Textbooks in early 2012, an idea that was a "vision" of late company co-founder Steve Jobs. The fullscreen textbooks feature interactive animations, rotating 3D diagrams, flick-through photo galleries and tap-to-play videos.

There are now nearly 25,000 educational titles created by independent publishers, teachers and leading education service companies. New educational content is available from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Hodder Education, helping to cover 100 percent of U.S. high school core curriculum and the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) core curriculum in the U.K.

iBooks


"Oxford University Press is using iBooks Author for Headway, Oxford's all-time best-selling English language series, to create engaging iBooks Textbooks for iPad," said Peter Marshall, Managing Director, ELT Division at Oxford University Press. "In releasing 13 new iBooks Textbooks, including 'Headway Pre-Intermediate,' the best-selling level in the series, we are enriching the language learning experience for students around the world."

As for iTunes U, the Course Manager feature allows educators to quickly and easily share knowledge and resources directly with their class or to a global audience. By using Apple's free iOS application, users can access the world's largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools, leading universities and prominent institutions.

Textbooks


iTunes U Course Manager also gives teachers the ability to integrate their own documents as part of course curriculum, as well as content from the Internet, hundreds of thousands of digital books on the iBooks Store, over 750,000 materials from the existing iTunes U library, or any of the more than one million iOS apps available on the App Store.

"iPad is so much more than just a textbook or just a notepad for students—it's a powerful educational tool, a study partner, a window into the past and a glimpse of the future," said Sophie Post, fourth grade history teacher at UK's Falkner House school. "Teaching history was once a static timeline of events. In leveraging the entire educational ecosystem of iPad, creating my own iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U courses, and pulling in apps like History: Maps of the World, studying history has suddenly become a creative, dynamic and truly transformative experience for my pupils."