Is the iPad the Textbook of the Future?


A recent article by Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, brings new light to the evolving world of electronic books. The advent of electronic readers, like the Kindle, caused a boom in electronic books, but has yet to catch electronic college textbooks up in the trend, due to high prices and glitchy hardware.

Apple has taken this as an opportunity to jump in and make the iPad a competitor in electronic textbooks by designing interactive digital textbooks specifically for iPad’s and developing them based on the iPad’s strengths (color quality, video, touch screen, ability to browse additional resources, like Wikipedia and Google while reading a textbook). The iPad e-textbooks, Inkling, are a big,vibrant, interactive, technological step-up from the grey screen of current e-textbooks, that are mostly only digitized versions of print textbooks.

For text book publishers to succeed with digital learning, they need to think digitally, not in the traditional book mode.  Some publishers use static formats instead of the interesting capabilities which technology affords.  Learning can be revolutionized if we all think differently about how students like to learn–through games, interactivity, social input and other modes of experiential learning which technology can simulate.

As is with most things in college, cost is still an issue with the iPad starting at $499 and a Kindle’s large e-reader designed for textbooks costing $379. However, if e-textbooks become a demand, we can expect affordability to follow, and hopefully classrooms, libraries, malls and dorms full of engaged, motivated students.

Article: Textbooks Up Their Game


Although electronic book sales have exploded, digital college textbooks have been slow to get off the ground, in part because of high prices and hardware concerns. Now, a former Apple Inc. employee Matt Mac Innis, is trying to shake up the market with a new approach that tape into the iPad’s strengths.

To read the full article:


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