At Apple's "Education Event" today at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the company announced a number of new partners for its iPad-based education programs. Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — which together make 90 percent of the textbooks currently available — will be filling the new "Textbooks" category in iBooks 2 with high-school level textbooks, and are piloting the new iBook Author app as well. Their books will cover every subject and level of study for high-schoolers, and all will be available for $14.99 or less at launch. That price appears to be where Apple wants to keep things, too: publishers will be able to set their own prices, but only in return for selling them exclusively through iBooks, so $14.99 appears to be the standard option for now.
Apple's also working with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and DK Publishing to launch new books like Life on Earth, and to bring some of the publishers' current apps to the iBook store. Authors will have "total freedom in terms of laying out text and graphics" in the new, immersive textbooks (though there seem to be plenty of unifying design elements, like pinching to get to the Table of Contents). The new apps are available now, so you can go check out the companies' handiwork in the new iBooks 2 store. And, if you're like us, you can wish you were back in high school so you could throw away your huge backpack and get an iPad.
Check out our liveblog for all the news from the Apple event right here.