Monday, February 6, 2012

Textbooks on your iPad:

Apple creates another app that will excel on the iPad 3. iBooks is an app that was introduced with iOS 5 and excels with the size of the iPad. Apple recently introduced new software to help producers bring the textbook to your next iPad 3. Apple suggests there are many advantages to the digital textbook and their adoption. Many believe that digital textbooks are the future, and Apple is attempting to be on the cutting edge of that movement.

Take the iPad 3 to class?

A few of the benefits that Apple suggests include an interactive connection with the student, cheaper then current paper textbooks, interactive, up to date material, and of course easier to carry. Some of these benefits seem slightly far fetched, yet some are obvious benefits to the introduction of textbooks to the iPad. Easier to carry and more interactive are obvious benefits to carrying all your class textbooks on your brand new iPad 3. However the cost to purchase may not be that big of a savings. There are currently textbooks available for purchase on the Kindle and other e-reader devices. While cheaper then their paper counterparts the savings isn’t as much as you’d think. The reason being the publishers say that most cost doesn’t come from production of the physical book but the research and writing process. This cost of course translates over to a digital or paper production. Moving towards a digital textbook would also of course allow the book to be updated easily and as many times as needed. However the cost factor again may hinder this from actually occurring. It seems unlikely that textbook publishers would give away free updates to textbooks, when they can charge full retail prices for the newest edition. Because of this it seems unlikely that digital textbooks will solve the issue of lower funded school districts being stuck with slightly outdated materials. There is of course also the cost of purchasing the actual iPad device. There are of course grant programs and other ways to schools to obtain these at discount. You still however are looking at a $500+ device.

The move towards digital textbooks is something that will of course happen. The companies that are able to adopt to this change are surely better prepared for future sales. We believe that digital textbooks are going to end up helping students, which should be the ultimate goal. However don’t think that it’s coming at a savings.  Companies like Apple see how large the textbook market is in this country alone and want to get their hands on a piece of the action. We don’t fault Apple at all on this, as any company should be doing the same. We just hope that we know what school districts are getting when they make a move towards the digital age


Post a Comment