Apple, others challenged to make digital textbooks a reality in five years

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post


    Digitally available textbooks is a good idea in theory. Along with appropriate interactive material (not entertainment) such as simulations of processes in the STEM area, it could improve learning in schools, and learning outside of school, in less formal environments.



    Then, if the material can be broken down into appropriate chunks, and learning management and assessment of mastery is included, we may have the making of knowledgeable and skilled population.



    But, I cannot say today that the textbooks and curriculum offered today, nor the extreme pressure by anti-intellectual forces in the US will result in a more educated public. Perhaps instead, the promise of digital textbooks will fail as did the promise of access to knowledge and information via the internet and TV, replaced instead by pseudo-news, opinion and downright propaganda and lies.



    Knowledge is not counted by the number of textbooks and iPads in a school, or the counts of the number of students with access to iPads. The only thing that counts is the content.



    How has the promise of access to knowledge and information via the internet failed? The Internet has very much delivered on giving us access to information. Anyone who has information to share can do so, and for the most part it will not be filtered out.
  • Reply 22 of 54
    In the near future almost all textbooks will be digital. Every new device has digital properties. I am now seeing new and fantastic digital music services. http://tinyurl.com/musicanueva
  • Reply 23 of 54
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 452member
    My concern is that in the "OMG we're gonna save so much money" rush will be lost the cost of the delivery vehicle. Maybe all homes and families will have access to the devices in the future, but how in the heck is a school system going to financially support this endeavor?



    Maybe if the system provided armored, waterproof cases for each unit (there goes another couple hundred $ per unit)



    Think about how you treated your books in school. I usually turned mine back in in fairly good shape, but they weren't made of glass either. Maybe I'm not realizing that there won't be homework in the future, and 5th grade kids won't have to run thru the rain to get on the bus...



    I love the idea for college students, but many colleges/universities are already there.
  • Reply 24 of 54
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I love the idea of text books finally becoming a digital reality but the current state of the iPad has me worried. It's to thick and way to heavy. You can argue with me all you want but we need a device that is under 7mm thick, half the weight of the current iPad, a lot more ruggedized and a lot more battery life. Apple had to increase their battery size almost two fold to sustain their ten hours of battery life with LTE.



    I want a education model to address those needs, it doesn't need to be the fastest or have mobile wireless. Just a light weight, long lasting, rugged, miniSD including, education machine.
  • Reply 25 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Relic View Post


    ?the current state of the iPad has me worried. It's to thick and way to heavy.



    Man up.



    Ah, sorry, that expression's a little inaccurate here, isn't it?



    Honestly, it still weighs less than the first iPad and if you can't carry around 1.4 lbs, you weren't carrying around your textbooks to begin with.



    Quote:

    You can argue with me all you want but we need a device that is under 7mm thick, half the weight of the current iPad, a lot more ruggedized and a lot more battery life.



    No, "we" don't. There's no pressing need for it to be thinner, there's no pressing need for it to have a longer battery life, and there's no pressing need for it to weigh less.



    Quote:

    ?miniSD including?



    Just buy an Android tablet and be done with it.
  • Reply 26 of 54
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Man up.



    Ah, sorry, that expression's a little inaccurate here, isn't it?



    Honestly, it still weighs less than the first iPad and if you can't carry around 1.4 lbs, you weren't carrying around your textbooks to begin with.







    No, "we" don't. There's no pressing need for it to be thinner, there's no pressing need for it to have a longer battery life, and there's no pressing need for it to weigh less.







    Just buy an Android tablet and be done with it.



    I have a Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy 7.7" that is kind of what I was basing my perfect education tablet off of. I think it needs to be at least 8.9" though and a bit more ruggedized . The 12.5 hour battery is defiantly a move in the right direction but I would like to see that increased by 6 hours. Then of course made by Apple because their the ones with iBooks. Look, I want it as close to a piece of paper as possible which brings up another thing to add to my wish list a pen. A active digitizer pen to be exact. I understand Steve Jobs said that the future was with the finger but I think there is still a lot benefits that can be had with a pen. My Galaxy Note showed me that, I can't believe every tablet doesn't support it actually. Drawing, highlighting, adding handwritten notes to a article, filling out PDF forms, the list goes on and on, for an educational tablet it's a must.



    Yes, it's your duty as an Apple fan to shutdown my ideas to hell because Apple doesn't have such a device yet. I mean why should they, Apple is doing just fine selling people the absolute minimum they can get away with, so they have something for the next model. That's great and all and it seems to please most of you but I really wish Apple would gamble a little bit now and then instead of releasing the safe option.
  • Reply 27 of 54
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    There's no pressing need for it to be thinner, there's no pressing need for it to have a longer battery life, and there's no pressing need for it to weigh less.



    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.
  • Reply 28 of 54
    cutykamucutykamu Posts: 230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


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



    I'm sure everybody would love to carry a iDevice with 3-4x battery than the current ipad but is that even possible with the current battery technology?

    I'm sure you know the answer.
  • Reply 29 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.



    Funny how things keep changing. In the 80s we had a client server model where the application an the data was stored on a remote server. Then we got the distributed model where everything was stored on the local machine. Now we are moving toward a return of the previous model where everything is stored in the cloud. Eventually I think we will see a massive increase in RAM, network speed and huge amounts of battery power. At that point the ginormous size of iBooks will be easily managed without compromise. IMO there is nothing worse than dumbing down education, especially because of inadequacies in technology.
  • Reply 30 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cutykamu View Post


    I'm sure everybody would love to carry a iDevice with 3-4x battery than the current ipad but is that even possible with the current battery technology?

    I'm sure you know the answer.



    At the same weight AND with a battery tech that can recharged a 1000x AND at a reasonable price? Nope.



    It's one thing for people to have an imagination but they also need to make sure their futuristic wishes don't cross into reality as stupid comments about what Apple (or others) should do. For example, it really sounds crazy (I literally mean insane) when people say that it's too heavy when another tablet is lighter (while ignoring that the other tablet has half the screen area and less battery life).
  • Reply 31 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post


    Actual books have become priced out of the ability for many districts to buy in the numbers needed.



    Sure, if everyone somehow had unlimited resources, that would be great. But in the real world in which we live, that's not the case.



    And being able to update one section of a history text (say after an election or revolution or what not) without needing to replace the entire thing is a huge cost savings.



    You seem to not have understood what I was trying to get across.



    My argument was that digital learning isn't necessarily the best way to learn and definitely not for all students.



    And this idea that books have become to high-priced just doesn't stand up to reason. Unless a district has decided to tell a different version of the Revolutionary War or the Civil War or whatever there should rarely be any reason to change texts.



    And your willingness to have something like a history text just updated is very trusting. Have you read 1984? To move solely to digital media for schooling purposes I think would make Orwell turn over.



    First it was computers. Then the internet. Now it is tablet/e-readers. When the next thing comes along somewhere in the next 10 years to make Apple (or the next Apple) billions of dollars will everyone jump on that bandwagon as well? I enjoy the entertainment of the digital age; but do we ever ask where it is leading other than to huge companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft having way too much influence into and over our lives and the lives of everyone around us?
  • Reply 32 of 54
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    Also, once it is printed, bound and shipped the text cant change, just look at "apps" being continuously updated: whats to stop an author from adding or subtracting something after publication? whats to stop the distribution company, publisher, or government from doing the same thing?



    Lack of updating is the problem. remember we are talking about textbooks, workbooks etc. Not novels



    these materials need to be updated and even corrected from time to time. And yet in many cases, due to price etc schools will keep using the same book for 5-10 years. Sometimes even the same copies. they get drawn in, dropped in water etc. And woe to the kid that gets a messed up textbook where the teachers photocopied and taped in missing pages.



    Not to mention that these things are heavy and for security reasons many schools are removing lockers so the kids can't go and swap out books between classes. My little brothers are in the 4th grade and have to carry almost their body weight in books and notebooks every day.



    Plus if you use them correctly you can have interaction materials that score the kids right away, adjust questions for those that are having trouble or are getting it quickly (giving them harder questions). The apps can reduce cheating by randomly selecting questions for each kid. You can have whiteboard apps that allow kids to ask questions from their desks anonymously and avoid embarrassment that stops many kids from speaking up. Same with answering questions.



    You can also support other things like Art and Music on the iPad. Or even bring back things like dissection labs in biology classes. My sister's class didn't do any such labs due to the high cost of getting the worms and frogs and such. While i found that activity to be a tad gross, I do think they should learn how animal systems go together and a virtual frog app could be just the solution. Social studies classes could benefit from having FaceTime pals from other countries so they can hear about life in wherever from someone living there rather than outdated materials in a 10 year old textbook.



    And so on.



    And then when they come home they can curl up with a book for actual reading, which might for some still mean ink on paper.
  • Reply 33 of 54
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by apersona View Post


    I can't quote chapter and verse but SJ had a very low opinion of US education, and by extension those responsible for its current state. So I would be very interested in hearing how Apple could get seriously involved with education and remain on good terms with these guys.



    Over the years I have found myself agreeing with many things Steve said about the US education system. For example, he was against just dumping computers in classrooms to say you have computers in the classrooms. He felt that it wouldn't change a thing and he was likely right. If you are going to use tech it needs to be thought out so that it melds into the overall system. Rather than just being there to be there. Steve also felt that the quality of teachers was a big issue. Unions were blocking the removal of mediocre and even bad teachers. And he could be right about that as well. I had plenty of teachers in middle and high school that were pretty bad. They clearly didn't want to be there anymore, they basically had us read the book in class, never answered questions. And yet they are still teaching in the same schools.



    As for Apple, they are dealing more with the textbook companies and school districts rather than actual teachers and for those groups it's about profit for the one and savings for the other.
  • Reply 34 of 54
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post


    My concern is that in the "OMG we're gonna save so much money" rush will be lost the cost of the delivery vehicle. Maybe all homes and families will have access to the devices in the future, but how in the heck is a school system going to financially support this endeavor?



    Maybe if the system provided armored, waterproof cases for each unit (there goes another couple hundred $ per unit)





    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.
  • Reply 35 of 54
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Relic View Post


    I love the idea of text books finally becoming a digital reality but the current state of the iPad has me worried. It's to thick and way to heavy. You can argue with me all you want but we need a device that is under 7mm thick, half the weight of the current iPad, a lot more ruggedized and a lot more battery life. Apple had to increase their battery size almost two fold to sustain their ten hours of battery life with LTE..



    Disagree on all counts. The size and weight are not an issue, the battery life is longer than a kid will be at school (and won't be using LTE) etc.
  • Reply 36 of 54
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


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



    Of course you would. but it isn't a 'pressing need' in order for the device to work as an educational tool.
  • Reply 37 of 54
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Disagree on all counts. The size and weight are not an issue, the battery life is longer than a kid will be at school (and won't be using LTE) etc.



    Well I have children and getting them to charge their phones is a choir. I see the way children handle there things and I know what they need. Of course you disagree because Apple doesn't make it yet. I said that when I posted my wish list, that people like you only like things that are currently out. The second Apple does come out with one you will be all over it, watch.
  • Reply 38 of 54
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cutykamu View Post


    I'm sure everybody would love to carry a iDevice with 3-4x battery than the current ipad but is that even possible with the current battery technology?

    I'm sure you know the answer.



    3 to 4x times no, 2 to 3x yes absolutely.
  • Reply 39 of 54
    techboytechboy Posts: 183member
    It always comes down to money...this is no different. Until they work out a pricing plan that publishers are comfortable with...this isn't gonna take off. Then you have school budgets to worry about...everything sounds great on paper and until they actually setup some curriculum and test it for a few years in a control setting, no one can HONESTLY claim ebooks is better method to educate our kids.
  • Reply 40 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


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



    There's imaginative and then there's completely nonsensical.



    This criticism is a holdover from the days where people actually believed that the flights of fancy they posted were legitimate demands that Apple had to meet.



    "So yesterday."



    Yes.
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