Replacing a pile of textbooks with an iPad

A new company called Inkling hopes to break the standard textbook model and help textbooks enter the interactive age by letting students share and comment on the texts and interact with fellow students, reports the New York Times. Matt MacInnis, founder and chief executive of Inkling, said the company wants to offer a textbook experience that moves far beyond simply downloading a PDF document to an iPad. One unique feature the service offers is the ability to discuss passages of a book with other students or professors. By selecting a piece of text, you can leave a note for others to read and develop a conversation around the text. The iPad application also breathes life into textbooks by giving publishers the tools to create interactive graphics within a book. In a demo version of the application, available for downloading from the iTunes store, “The Elements of Style” includes quizzes that help students learn by touching and interacting with the screen. There’s also a biology book that offers the ability to navigate 3-D molecules from any angle. Other features include the ability to search text, change the size of the type, purchase individual chapters of books, highlight text for others to see, and take pop quizzes directly within the app…

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