E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth Released as a Free eBook and Free Course on iTunes

Yesterday, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth was released as a free iBook on iTunes. It features “state-of-the-art digital media animations, video, and interactive modules in a comprehensive 41-chapter text covering standards-based biology curriculum.” Created under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard naturalist Edward O.Wilson, Life on Earth can be downloaded in 7 units on iTunes. The free book also comes with a free iTunesU course. In addition to reading assignments, the course “incorporates activities such as field observations, writing assignments, project-based learning exercises,” using apps and other materials. Combining information from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia of Life, the course covers a variety of important themes — citizen science, evolution, climate change, and protecting biodiversity. The first nine chapters of the iTunesU course are available now, and the remaining materials for the 41-chapter course will be released throughout 2014.

The book can be found in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices. And the course will be added to our list of Free Online Biology Courses, part of our larger collection: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

h/t @RandyDeutsch

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Enter E.O. Wilson’s Encyclopedia of Life: Free Access to All The World’s Knowledge About Life

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Comments (13)
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  • John says:

    Please let us know when this is available in a platform that doesn’t involve Apple, Inc. products. Thanks.

    • Lee says:

      If you’re wanting a Linux version then fair enough. Otherwise I assume you want a Microsoft, Inc. “product”. In which case, I wouldn’t hold my breath. You may have noticed, from the pricing structures, Microsoft do not like free. Nor even cheap. Because their business model is milking every last drop out of customers who are already stuck with their appalling codebase.

  • William Fernando Rincón Forero says:

    E.O. Wilson sos un ejemplo a seguir, sos mi inspiración y se que con tu sabituria lograremos grandes cosas en la biología, muchas gracias.

  • Ly Dara says:

    Really want to learn.

  • contulmmiv says:

    Hello – thanks for the good news, but the book is not to be found in the list which your link points to. A general search for it on your web site also returns nothing. I’d appreciate if you could point specifically to the right location or, otherwise, correct the post.nThis applies also to the course but, in that respect, you are using the future tense, so…nRegards.

  • rodrigo says:

    If you want to offer some open educational material you should be considering other platforms than apple.

  • Jessie says:

    Very disappointed. The courses and the book may be free but because the book is only compatible with an iPad I cannot read it or take the course. I do not have alot of money. I doubt I’ll be getting an iPad anytime soon unless someone is extremely generous. I like finding free courses. It’s perfect for people like me, but there’s no point in it being free if I need an iPad to take it.

  • chris bird says:

    Good idea but stupid in how it has been done. I have a lot of students who would benefit from this but as its itunes and only through Apple many do not have access. Not very inclusive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Harvey says:

    I’m no big fan of Apple, but to be fair, the download for an on-PC reading device is free, as is the book and course. All you have to do is read and figure it out.

  • Aman Chamadiya says:

    Please it can be available for Android

  • Willam Gates says:


    Can I have this on a notapple thing?

  • Rick Roth says:

    For those complaining about the Apple inclusiveness, you best do a little research. As was stated EARLY in this post, you will NOT get a FREE book if it is outsourced to Microsoft or others. Sorry, but they really want your back pocket over your learning.
    While Apple has a its own set of problems, providing a FREE TEXTBOOK is quite an accomplishment; someone pays for it somewhere, but it is not on the student side. Just borrow an iPad and learn!

    From a professional working BOTH Mac and PC platforms.

  • Chris says:

    The textbook is amazing,
    But as a biology teacher thinking of adopting it so my students don’t need to pay $$$ to a publisher, I cannot assume that all students have access to a single platform, and therefore can’t use it. It is clear that the foundation wants to get the work out to students, given that the price of PCs/Android is significantly lower than Mac, their choice to publish it only on this platform is baffling.

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