KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/CNET) -- On the day Dr. Jim McIntyre laid out his strategy for Knox Co. Schools, Apple unveiled its vision for how kids will learn for decades to come, showing off digital textbooks at its education event in New York.
"I think there's a variety of established and emerging technologies that can help make education more challenging, more efficient, more engaging for our kids," said McIntyre.
The service, dubbed iBooks 2, will allow textbook makers to create fully interactive titles for Apple's iPad. According to the company, users will be able to swipe across the display to open textbook pages and view movies within each chapter. The operating system's familiar pinch and tapping features are also available, giving users more interaction with titles.
"This would appeal to any type of learner, " said Webb School Technology Coordinator Julienne Pope. "It offers video, it offers audio, there's all types of content available here."
"No student learns the same way," she continued, "and so it really benefits the student if the content we're giving them, offers them different ways to take it in."
Right now, the L&N Stem Academy has an iPad2 for all students. It's their primary learning tool, with students using them for notes and as their textbooks.
"I think those types of technologies can certainly support effective instruction and high-level student learning," said McIntyre.
While Knox Co. faces a tight public school budget, private schools, like Webb School, have already made the switch. Starting this year, the school required all of its students to have iPads.
"The kids like it," said Jim Manikas, Webb Schools Technology Director. "They like to use them in the classroom. It helps them get excited about learning."
Manikas added he's excited by Apple's updates.
"We want to have that interactive textbook," he said. "We want to get away from that 20-pound book that they're carrying around and this made it easier."
For Pope, textbooks have been the biggest challenge and she said she's pleased to see Apple teaming up with some major publishing companies.
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