The Apple Reveal

So the big reveal (as was suspected) was the steps into the textbook market. For the University level: sweet! Personally, I’ve scouted some of the iTunes U podcasts (one of the schools I have applied to is University of Edinburgh, and they have a nice audio tour for a walkabout so I’ve been able to get some sense of the area… and it might actually come in handy if I actually go there, to really get my bearings the first few days on campus)… and some of the course options (again, though, podcasts) looked interesting enough that I have throughout about pulling some actual, you know, educational content – from prestigious schools, no less.

I also think that the potential is there for creating individual course packs – “supplemental” documentation to go with the primary text. Or providing a pre-collated collection of all the intended handouts. That, as a feature, is something I can definitely see myself incorporating into developing course plans for teaching in the future. (I’ve just downloaded the iBook Author app – one of the listed features is the ability to create a PDF version, not just compiling for sale through the iBookstore – yes, I realize I could do the same thing through several other pieces of software the I already have, but it is a free app, so I figure I can check it out.)

But I agree with some of the other comments I have read, asking about the penetration to K-12th grades (personally, I see a target of 6-12th grades over elementary grades). Yes, I agree that being able to get newer editions for under $15 is a great deal considering the potential costs for textbooks. Yes, I agree that digital editions would be great for the promoting of straight backs of the youth (instead of hunched under the weight of a few metric tons, just to be able to do their homework). Who pays for the devices in the first place? Then who pays for the books?

I can see the possibility of going “library” style for school owned devices, where there’s a site license to the school for “x” number of devices, with the books pre-loaded, but I am still fuzzy about the full implementation of the program. Books are supposed to be “under $14.99” – does that mean that books coming from Big Educational Publishing will be priced according to the grade level? I can’t see spending $15 for a 3rd grade spelling book (although, workbooks and aides could be just as much, I guess).

And still… what about the taking of notes?  Will have to look into that…

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