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post #41 of 52
The issues of payment and version control need to be worked out.

Public elementary schools and high schools have normally provided textbooks instead of making students pay for them.

If a textbook is updated, are schools and students supposed to automatically update to those newer versions even while class is still in session? What if the updated book contains major changes which disrupt the class syllabus? How do you ensure that each student in the class is is using the same version of the book? If someone downloads a newer version of a book, is there a way to revert back?
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Then my step sibs were invited to be a part of an iPad pilot program this year they were required to put down a $500 deposit a piece for their school provided iPad. It would be used to buy a replacement if they broke it. If they didn't, at the end of the year Mom and Dad get the money back.

This is a private school so I don't know if there are legal restrictions that would stop the public schools from requiring something like this. That said, now they can buy Apple Care + and save a bundle on broken iPads. I suppose for lost ones they can use the same 'you lost it you pay for it' system that many use for paper textbooks.

You could never do that in a public school system. They can't even require the kids to buy a pencil anymore. I attended a public technical high school and aside from tons of drafting supplies, we had to buy a "handbook" which had everything from the school's course offerings to vocabulary lists. No more - the schools aren't permitted to force the students to buy anything.

I don't know what public schools do today in terms of lost or damaged textbooks. If a kid (or their parents) refused to pay, I don't think there's anything the school can do.

While overall crime is as low in New York City as it's been in many decades, there is supposedly many thefts of Pads and smartphones/MP3 players taking place on the subways. Giving kids iPods is a recipe for disaster - these kids would be mugged incessantly.
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I don't know what public schools do today in terms of lost or damaged textbooks. If a kid (or their parents) refused to pay, I don't think there's anything the school can do.

Most schools around here do one of two things: #1. No final report card/passing to next grade, or #2. Can not graduate... Until all debts are paid, doesn't matter if it is lost books, athletic fees, parking fees or what have you. Maybe these are both bluffs, but everyone I knew always blinked first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

While overall crime is as low in New York City as it's been in many decades, there is supposedly many thefts of Pads and smartphones/MP3 players taking place on the subways. Giving kids iPods is a recipe for disaster - these kids would be mugged incessantly.

I certainly hope school systems consider all the "collateral damage" supplying these devices will entail. Living in a small town, I hadn't even thought about these things getting stolen, but you are dead on!
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post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I think there's a bigger challenge.

We already have states in the US forcing textbook manufacturers to leave out controversial topics or discuss them in politically correct ways. When Texas or California takes a stand on how an issue is to be taught, it ends up affecting the entire country - because textbook manufacturers have traditionally refused to produce multiple versions of a book for different states. I hope that eBooks makes it easier for textbook manufacturers to satisfy state requirements without making the rest of the country suffer.

The simplest example, of course, would be that they could simply remove the evolution chapter from the Kansas biology books if Kansas continues with its silly anti-evolution stance. I would hope that eBooks would make this easier, rather than harder.

Of course, the best thing would be if petty radical politicians didn't let their political views interfere with properly educating our kids, but I really don't expect our politicians to grow up soon.


And who is the proper one to decide, you, or those who share your views?
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

am I the only one a little sad about this sort of thing? I look at my book shelf and see a great thing, astheticly brautiful and eligant, and the books are usefull - you can read them without logging in and getting DRM approval, you can rely on them to bne there and not just randomly disappear when tehre is a copyright dispute (a la Orwell's "1984" on Kindle a while back) and most importantly, the right of first sale, that is it is mine, I can let you borrow it, I can give it to you, I can let you borrow it, I could donate it to a library and so on.


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post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

When Texas or California takes a stand on how an issue is to be taught, it ends up affecting the entire country - because textbook manufacturers have traditionally refused to produce multiple versions of a book for different states. I hope that eBooks makes it easier for textbook manufacturers to satisfy state requirements without making the rest of the country suffer.

But aren't California & Texas pretty much diametrically opposed from a philosophical perspective? How does that work?

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post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Then my step sibs were invited to be a part of an iPad pilot program this year they were required to put down a $500 depositould be used to buy a replacement if they broke it. If they didn't, at the end of the year Mom and Dad get the money back.

This is a private school so I don't know if there are legal restrictions that would stop the public schools from requiring something like this. That said, now they can buy Apple Care + and save a bundle on broken iPads. I suppose for lost ones they can use the same 'you lost it you pay for it' system that many use for paper textbooks.

How about this? Apple provides iPad2's to the schools at cost. Back of the envelope calculation indicates a price of about $200. What's in it for Apple? Great publicity, and the fact this would get the younger generation familar with Apple, and they become Apple spokespersons to their family and friends. Apples are like crack cocaine in my book. Probably a poor anology.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipertom View Post

How about this? Apple provides iPad2's to the schools at cost.

No incentive to do that when they're buying them already.

Quote:
…the fact this would get the younger generation familiar with Apple…

If you're in the younger generation and you don't already know about Apple, you're so ostracized that you DO already know about Apple.

Them kids and their iPods, you know?
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

There's no pressing need for you to constantly criticise every imaginative suggestion on here but you still do it post after post.

I would certainly welcome an iPad that lasts a full 3 day business trip or weekend away and weighs less in my briefcase.

In what way is "I want it thinner, lighter, with longer battery life and with more ports" imaginative?

Obviously everyone wants a thinner, lighter, more expandable device, not to mention cheaper, faster and more user friendly.

Thinness/lightness and battery life/extra ports are opposing requirements. If you add more ports and increase battery life, the device gets thicker and heavier. If you make it thinner and lighter you reduce battery life.

Apple already make the device that is the best compromise achievable with current technology. They might have a thinner, longer life iPad in a lab somewhere, but they haven't released it yet because it would cost $1000 more.

Next year it may cost less, but then guess what Apple will release next year? A thinner, lighter iPad with better battery life, just like they do every year (okay, sometimes it's faster or higher res, or the same spec but cheaper, but that's because there are more than just thickness and battery life in the spec sheet and the device needs to remain competitive on speed, quality and price too).

Imagination is inventing a brand new category of device and turning it into a shippable product that revolutionises multiple industries. Imagination is not looking at this amazing device and saying "too thick, too heavy, too little battery life, not enough ports".
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post #50 of 52
Ok, I've scrolled through 30+ comments here and nobody seems to see the real issue. You've talked about cost. You've talked about censorship. You've talked about the value of updates. All of these are valid issues, but you haven't talked about HOW STUDENTS LEARN (or fail to) on a device that has so many more fun things on it than a textbook. I can't imagine trying to keep a classroom full of students engaged in the textbook when there are so many easily accessible distractions. Let's hear from the teachers. If teachers can strip down the iPad and lock it, maybe there's a chance but without good "parental controls" it's going to be a real challenge. Also, has anyone considered the theft issue? iPads have high street value and are easily damaged. I don't think they're ready for the classroom. Let's do some studies before we get rid of textbooks nationwide!
post #51 of 52
What I dont and never have understood, is why Math textbooks ever need upadting - in the highest reaches of math where new discoveries may be occuring sure, but has High School Algebra 2 changed enough to requier a new text every couple years? and at the university level, it seems like the basic math books change every term! its a total scam, why havnt professors gotten together and written a sort of definitive text that could be sold for pennies on the dollar of text books now? why should a introduction to calc textbook cost $150 when Calc for Dummies has the same basic info for like $15? its a total scam and digital wont change it.

Why do people think this will change? we havnt seen any REAL text books, just some sample stuff to wet our whistles at $10, the real stuff will be a ripoff, just wait.
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post #52 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

What I dont and never have understood, is why Math textbooks ever need upadting - in the highest reaches of math where new discoveries may be occuring sure, but has High School Algebra 2 changed enough to requier a new text every couple years? and at the university level, it seems like the basic math books change every term! its a toal scam, why havnt professors gotten together and written a sort of difinitive text that could be solf for pennies on the dollar of text books now? why should a introduction to calc textbook cost $150 when Calc for Dummies has the same basic info for like $15? its a total scam and digital wont change it.

Why do people think this will change? we havnt seen any REAL text books, just some sample stuff to wet our whistles at $10, the real stuff will be a ripoff, just wait.

A lot of subjects don't change year to year. I do agree that create new versions as a way to generate more profit.

That said, there are reasons to update a math book. Errors are certainly an important reason, which is why digital books can be great. Second, is that while a middle school book on pre-algebera isn't going to have any new concepts in the span of a decade there are ways the writers can make things more clear. One important way is with world problems.

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