Foundation Gives the Gift of Knowledge through Philanthropy
DURHAM, NC – June 30, 2014 – The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation today announced the official release of E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, a free iBooks textbook series designed to excite and instruct high school biology students with state-of-the-art digital media—animations, video, and interactive modules—in a comprehensive 41-chapter text covering standards-based biology curriculum. Inspired and led by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and naturalist Edward O. Wilson, Life on Earth represents a new dimension in science education. The Life on Earth iBooks textbook series development and distribution has been made possible by generous donations from Foundation supporters.
“Life on Earth comes alive on iPad, providing a stunning perspective on life. The interactive experience will ignite in students an appreciation for what they have inherited—this beautiful planet and every living thing on it—and an understanding of the role and responsibility we all have to preserve the biodiversity around us,” said Dr. Edward O. Wilson. “I am immensely proud of the iBooks textbook series that the Foundation is providing at no cost to students and the public, allowing us to bring the meaning and importance of biodiversity to life for a global audience.”
Life on Earth gives students a rich, Multi-Touch iPad experience to visualize difficult concepts, understand underlying biological structures, and engage scientific materials in ways not possible with the printed page. The seven-unit iBooks textbook series was created with iBooks Author and is designed for iPad, and it can also be read in iBooks on Mac. Life on Earth supports the performance expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards as well as other national and international curriculum standards. It can be downloaded on the iBooks Store at iTunes.com/lifeonearth.
The Foundation’s goal with this new textbook is to teach students and the general public to see the world the way a naturalist like Dr. Edward O. Wilson sees it, to cultivate in everyone an understanding and appreciation of biology and biodiversity, and to inspire them to join our rapidly growing global community dedicated to preserving and protecting the living world.
“We are very proud of the enormous effort by all involved in making E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth a reality. We have created a state-of-the-art teaching tool that brings a new dimension to our understanding of nature and biodiversity, and how it should be presented in classrooms,” said Dr. Paula Ehrlich, President and CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. “We aim to inspire a new generation of explorers and informed citizens who are prepared to take responsibility for conserving and protecting the biological richness of nature as a treasure to be passed on.”
Life on Earth is accompanied by an iTunes U course that brings an added dimension to the classroom. iTunes U, the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content, gives learners access to course materials included in the Biology course. In addition to reading assignments, the course incorporates extension activities such as field observations, writing assignments, project-based learning exercises, and more, using apps and other materials. Important themes like citizen science, evolution, climate change, and protecting biodiversity are emphasized in content brought together from leading institutions like the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia of Life.
“Life On Earth is an exciting, astonishing, and deliberate leap forward into a future where every person will have free and innovative access to knowledge about the fundamental biology upon which our lives and planet turn,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Park Service Director. “Wilson’s vision for learning and stewardship once again leads the way!”
The first nine chapters of the iTunes U course are available today, June 30, and the remaining materials for the 41-chapter course will be released throughout 2014. Free copies of the course will be made available to interested teachers with iTunes U accounts in Winter 2014.
The Foundation’s work to research and educate a global population on the importance of our biological heritage and its preservation has just begun. If you are interested in learning more about the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation please visit www.eowilsonfoundation.org or go directly http://bit.ly/EOWBF to make a donation.
About The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
The mission of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, in development for four years, has been one of the major projects of the Foundation and is now available for free from the iBooks Store. Please visit www.eowilsonfoundation.org to learn more.