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

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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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