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Apple textbooks - a great idea, but still lots of questions

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Jan 2012 1:48 User comments (1)

Apple textbooks - a great idea, but still lots of questions Today Apple held a press event in New York City to show off the new textbook oriented iBooks app with improved HTML5 support.
These improvements are being used in newly added high school textbooks from publishers who cover 90 percent of the market.

The textbooks will offer interactive content like you might see on the web and advanced features for taking notes. There is also a free WYSIWYG authoring app available from the Mac App Store.

With prices limited to $14.99 per textbook and students owning them forever, it seems like a good deal on the surface. But is it really? Actually there seem to be more questions than answers.

If the student owns the textbook, does that mean schools will have to buy one for each student every year? If so, is it really worth the price? Sure, they can keep using them indefinitely, but how many will?

And who will be paying for all the iPads required? You won't find many schools with that kind of money. They haven't said anything about DRM, so presumably the textbooks will use it. Doesn't that mean no desktop, laptop, or Android support?

Until we have meaningful answers to those questions, it's hard to get behind the textbook initiative. On the other hand, if you have an interest in electronic reference books, the improvements to iBooks seem promising.

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1 user comment

120.1.2012 13:55

Yes Great idea that should not be locked to the iPad. This should be every tablet friendly as well as every computer/os friendly because if it is not it is just impeding education and progress.

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" ~ Roy Trenneman

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