Apple unveiled their latest attempt at shaking up what it sees as an industry in need of some technological innovation Jan. 19 when it announced iBooks 2, a do-it-yourself publishing kit for digital textbooks. It's meant to turn Apple's iPad into a learning tool and allow schools to begin building their own kinds of content including text, images and video. Apple also debuted iBooks Author, a Mac app that makes creating your own textbook as easy as editing a song in GarageBand. Apple is working with publishing houses McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Education is deep in our DNA, and it has been since the very beginning, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said at the announcement event in New York.

Using iBooks 2 for bookmaking can help create content in much the same way as content is created for the Web. Ibooks 2 can make ebooks that have the ability to take notes and highlights to be stored in one place or in various places in the book. Textbook ebooks can now be found in the iBookstore under the new textbook category, and there are free samples in addition to codes for students to redeem books and re-download them anytime.

The iBook Author app looks sort of like the iWork applications, and it uses a visual editor to create content, but also includes tools for using HTML5 and JavaScript. Once published, books can be sold for as much as $15, and even chapters can be sold individually, according to an online report from Ars Technica.

One other announcement Apple made was for a new iTunes U app for the iPad. Universities had already been using the iTunes U section for adding content to regular coursework, but now K-12 schools will be allowed to use this feature too. Tell us in the comments if you used iTunes U at your school and if you thought it was helpful.