Always looking for ways to recreate how people learn, Apple just launched iBooks textbooks, which offers a new way for students to use a textbook that is in fact not a textbook at all, but an interactive learning tool.
Aside from offering the most up-to-date information and lightening book-laden backpacks, the iBooks textbook does far more than our parents’ textbooks. Students can truly engage with the book, highlighting text with a swipe of their finger, inserting notes, creating notecards, viewing 3-D images, and watching videos.
Perhaps the most incredible feature of all is the new, free, and intuitive tool iBooks Author. This allows you to create your own textbook and share with whom you want. Easily create templates, customize with a click, drag and drop, add widgets, and make your book easily accessible for persons with disabilities.
Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, COTELCO Executive Director replied to this new technology positively: “I was struck by how much the software does FOR you. It automates an incredible amount of work. The software produces something that most of us could not produce on our own.”
However, like all new innovations, there is some controversy; for example, the hefty price tag associated with an iPad. Who pays for this if schools integrate this as the “new” textbook? Does Apple have a right to influence people to buy this particular tablet by making this new software accessible only to iPad users? What about the End User License Agreement (EULA) that states that, "By using the Apple software, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this license"?
Using iBooks Author allows you to distribute your creation, with 30% of the profits going to Apple. However, it is only permissible for the iBook to be sold through the iBookstore. Is it fair to limit the distribution of one’s own creation?
Dr. Cogburn weighs in, “It seems appropriate that they assert some rights over the product. Further, because the mechanism for selling the book is so seamless, with terms very favorable to the author, who doesn't have to provide ANY infrastructure for the sale or distribution of the product they created, again seems ‘fair.’”
With technology changing on a seemingly daily basis, new inventions are coming out quicker than we can imagine them, perpetually reinventing how we learn. Through interacting so intimately with our textbook, it seems the knowledge and innovation that can potentially grow from this newest tool is boundless.
Visit here to find out more about the new “not” textbook.