I came across this post on ars technica (below), about an a major announcement from Apple on ebooks coming late this month. Note the reference, in the final paragraph below, about coming changes "directed specifically toward the academic set." And note, too, this post talking about *authors* yearning for tools (as opposed to publishers). This could imply tools available to individual authors, which would be a boon for open educational resources (OER).
This is why I am suggested we watch this announcement carefully and see what opportunities it might have for us.
Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
IM: fnchron (AIM)
Apple poised to bring important changes to its iBook platform
By Chris Foresman
Apple may be poised to announce changes coming to iBooks, and perhaps eBook publishing, sometime this month. In particular, we believe the announcement may have important reverberations for textbook publishers and buyers.
According to a report by All Things Digital published Monday, the company is planning a media event in New York to make a "media-related," not hardware-related announcement. Further, sources for TechCrunch claimed the announcement will focus on "improvements to the iBooks platform," and the event will supposedly be more geared towards the publishing industry (not necessarily consumers).
Apple has recently highlighted the ability of its iBooks platform to include sound, video, and other features by offering a free eBook of The Yellow Submarine. And based on information from our own sources, we believe the announcement could likely involve support for the EPUB 3 standard, which enables a wider variety of multimedia and interaction features. Amazon recently announced its own similarly improved eBook standard using HTML5 and CSS3.
Several authors have also told Ars that they long for tools to help transform book text into standards-compliant eBooks. The opportunity certainly seems ripe for Apple to offer such a tool. If Apple created software that could generate standards-compliant EPUB files, it could be a boon to both the publishing industry and independent authors alike.
Incidentally, one source who has worked with Apple to integrate technology in education recently suggested that Apple may have important changes coming to its iBooks platform directed specifically toward the academic set. Digital textbooks represent another nascent market that Apple could potentially upend as it did with music and mobile apps.
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