Friday, January 20, 2012

Transitioning to iBooks 2.0

By Sean Scarpiello

Recently, Apple has introduced the updated version of their e books called iBooks 2.0. This new technology is aimed at students, educators, and just about everyone in the academic world. Apple has paired up with companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill and Pearson to bring full textbooks to anyone who owns an iPad. As education quickly moves from the traditional classroom to cutting edge technology, some schools have already began to adopt iBooks, while some education experts remain unconvinced of iBooks' potential.

The new iBooks that Apple is offering will be completely interactive. This means the textbooks will offer add-ons like quizzes, flash cards, and more. In regular textbooks, there is often software containing interactive extras. These extras are often ignored by students because it takes too long to download the software on the computer. The iBooks will have interactive extras easily available and strategically placed into the readings so that students will not need to go out of their way to use them. Some experts believe that the extra quizzes and flash cards are not offering the correct type of interactive add-ons because they lack the ability for students to interact with other students around the world. However, when it comes to studying for tests repetition is key, not collaborating with other students. This repetition is exactly what the new iBooks offer, thus the iBooks will be successful.

The best part of these new iBooks for students is that they will be cheap. Most students pay upwards of a hundred dollars for a single textbook. In college, this may mean that students are paying around $700 for one semester. Apple has made arrangements with the textbook companies to sell the books for $14.99 or cheaper. These low prices for books are also great because it will make people buy the iPad. At first, people may be skeptical to drop $500 on an iPad and then pay for books, but since the books are cheap their investment in the iPad will quickly pay off.

Another neat aspect of iBooks 2.0 is that it comes with a program called iAuthor. This software allows people to make their own iBook. This can range from cookbooks to novels to even comic books and more. This is a really interesting function to the new iBooks. Teachers could be able make their students make iBooks and turn them in as projects. This will be especially important as iBooks will be the future of books. Eventually all textbooks will be based on today’s iBooks so it helps to learn how to make them as students.

Some schools are already making the transition to the iPad and iBooks 2.0. One such school, the University Christian School in Florida, is planning on having all of their students on new iPads in this upcoming September. Ideally, they hope to be completely off of the traditional five pound textbook in about two to three years. In the long run, the school feels that the transition will not only be more effective in teaching students, but it will also lower the cost to educate students.


No comments: