This week, Apple held their education event, announcing iBooks 2, bringing a whole new textbook experience to iPad users. Just like in many other books designed for the iPad, these textbooks will include standard text interspersed with interactive high-quality images, videos, animations and 3-D models.

Students will now be immersed directly into the learning environment, as opposed to highlighting various (and often, incomprehensible) sentences from books. They will be able to pinch to zoom (as the iPad allows), tap words and read glossaries, and easily create study cards with the new “My Notes” feature.

Top textbook giants Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are going to start to roll out the first textbooks, which will be biology and high school science titles. DK Publishing will also launch with several interactive titles for children.

Pearson will be bringing forward Algebra 1, Biology, Environmental Science and Geometry, while McGraw Hill has Algebra 1, Biology, Chemistry, Geometry and Physics. DK Publishing, which has four books launching today: Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life, Natural History Insects, Natural History Animals, and My First ABC.

One of the perks of iBooks 2 is that it is essentially taking textbooks that are a couple hundred dollars, into those that are under 20 bucks.

At the education event, Appleā€™s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller announced that there are currently 20,000 education and learning apps that have been built for the iPad. Since 1.5 million iPads are used educational institutions and schools already, it is important to continually drive to this market. The partnerships between these companies and new iBooks update will help build this experience. Essentially, they are reinventing the textbook.

This coincides with the thousand plus university and colleges around the world that are using iTunes U, which delivers free lectures, videos, books, and podcasts from learning institutions. There are over 500,000 pieces of audio and video material, and iTunes U has seen over 700 million downloads.

So back to iBooks 2.

The textbooks themselves, as previously mentioned, are designed specifically for the iPad. The textbooks are loaded with interactive features, where users can rotate 3D objects, view galleries, watch videos, understand diagrams and more. When information is relevant and important, they can use a finger as a highlighter, and take advantage of Study Cards to help memorize important terms. There is also a glossary to see definitions and concepts without leaving the page.

It’s currently linked to schools only in the US, but others can still check it out.

Now available on the App Store. Get it here.