Today I had the opportunity to sit in an iBooks Author training with Corey Dahl. I must say that this application from Apple has a wonderful amount of opportunities for use by teachers. First of all, you can make your own textbook for your students, with the information you want in it. There isn't any of the fluff that you may not need the students to know. This is a good way to only have the information that is tested on in the state assessments.
Secondly, you can add pictures. Not only just one, but a gallery of pictures. There can be captions for the pictures to explain what the picture is showing. If you have more than one picture for a topic, you can add a gallery of pictures and students would be able to swipe through all the pictures.
There is also an opportunity to add videos. The only small pain about them is that you need to convert them from mp4 to m4v formats. That is just a two step process that is simple. However, the more video in the book, the larger the file, the more room it will take up on student's iPads. There are ways around this by sending it to a podcast server, YouTube, etc, then creating a hyperlink. This will keep the file smaller and take up less room. YouTube videos can also be embedded into the book using another widget site.
You can also have interactive figures. This will allow for pictures showing change over time. 3-D images, when inserted with its widget, are able to be manipulated as well. This gives the students, and the teacher, the ability to see objects as they really are.
These are just a few of the many neat abilities of iBooks Author. Hopefully with some more time I will be finding out what else I can do with this application and be able to share with ESU 7.