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Apple Debuts 3 Education Apps

iPads are moving from recreation to education with 3 new apps Apple unveiled on Jan. 19.

The 3 free education apps aim to get students and teachers to use the iPad to read, write, plan classes and communicate with each other.

Apple seeks to make the iPad a central fixture in education, replacing the need for textbooks and bringing a durable, portable, searchable and current technology to students.

First, a new textbook store called iBooks 2, will feature digital e-books for schools.

Apple is partnering with several major textbook companies—including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—who will make e-books for the store.

Textbooks in e-book format will make information more accessible and easily updated. It will also be affordable, with high school textbooks starting at USD $14.99.

Second, another free app called iBooks Author lets anyone create a digital, interactive textbook.

iBooks Author will allow teachers to create textbooks out of virtually any material, and then share the material in digital form.

iBooks Author has other functions outside of education, as well. Users can create history books, cookbooks, picture books and even reports for iPads with this app.

The third app is an update to current software iTunes U—software that lets teachers plan their curriculum and communicate with students over the iPad.

The new iTunes U will allow anyone, anywhere, at any time to take courses for free. This advancement is a great leap forward for those who don’t always have access to education because of distance or absence.

“If you’re an educator at a university, college, of K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books and other content.” Apple website said. “And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.”

Apple has deep roots in the education world, and the debut of these apps can only help Apple’s goal to revitalize U.S. education through digital means.

However, skeptics are quick to point out that Apple’s success rests solely on the ability for schools and education to adopt this technology.

What do you think—Can Apple change the education landscape?