EdMedia Commons Archive

Can Apple ‘reinvent the textbook’?

Earlier today I was glued to a liveblog of the latest Apple event, which centered around the company’s foray into e-textbooks. The company debuted iBooks 2 for iPad, a service aimed at revolutionizing students’ interactions with their texts, their classrooms, and their teachers.

Ars Technica:

Books created for iBooks 2 can have all manner of media attached, complete with multitouch capabilities. The company listed numerous ways in which iBooks 2 authors can create engaging content for students, including multiple-choice questions with immediate feedback within the text, the ability to make notes and highlights that can be found in a single location as note cards or sprinkled throughout the text, ways to explore embedded graphics and 3D animations, full-motion movies, and more.

I followed the Reuters liveblog, which was peppered with skeptical tweets from viewers. The prevailing sentiment seemed to be ‘yes, it’s cool — but how much will it cost?’

I’m very interested to see what kind of reception this gets in the world of higher education, where students routinely drop the equivalent of an iPad at the bookstore twice a year. Will an e-textbook’s bells and whistles (and, let’s assume for argument’s sake, lower price point) be enough to lure students and professors away from traditional texts?

This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.