(Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on digital textbooks. Part 2, which will run next month, will focus on schools’ use of digital texts in the classroom.)
The call for U.S. schools to move toward digital textbooks within the next five years has some education officials pondering their options. Publishers, meanwhile, are starting to answer the call.
Last year, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged the nation’s schools to opt for digital textbooks as quickly as possible. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he said during a National Press Club address in October. “The world is changing. This has to be where we go as a country.”…Read More
Apple might make the heavy backpack an endangered species.
There won’t be much students can’t do with a few taps and swipes of their Apple iPads after the tech giant’s introduction of iBooks 2–a book store that now includes interactive textbooks–and an iTunes University app that could create a comprehensive school experience inside the popular computer tablet.
Apple officials confirmed Jan. 19 weeklong speculation that the company would jump into the textbook market during a press event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, introduced the next iteration of the iBooks app, which for the first time will offer textbooks that start at $14.99 or less for high school students.…Read More
Education-technology advocates took notice when the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the textbook industry “ripe for destruction” in his official biography. On Jan. 19, school technologists might just see what Jobs had in mind.
A flurry of speculation about Apple’s entry into the digital textbook market swept across Twitter, Facebook, and technology blogs after Apple released an invitation touting an “education announcement at the Big Apple” Wednesday afternoon.
Don’t let the iPhones and BlackBerries fool you: Research and a recent pilot program that put eReaders in college students’ hands suggest that most students aren’t ready to read their textbooks electronically, despite the proliferation of internet-ready mobile devices on campuses nationwide.
In fact, 74 percent of students surveyed by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), a nonprofit trade organization representing 3,000 campus retailers, preferred printed textbooks for their college classes.
The study, released May 25, also found that more than half of college students surveyed on 19 campuses said they “were unsure about purchasing digital textbooks or would not consider buying them even if they were available.”…Read More