eBooks in Education?

Grail 20 January 2012 6

Here’s Apple’s presentation from the Guggenheim this morning.

The key points:

  • New eBook authoring software
  • Publishing to iTunes Bookstore is as easy as clicking a button
  • Apple has signed on a bunch of high-school textbook publishers already

There’s plenty of commentary about this event around the web. Will this have any impact on you? Do you have any experience to contrast the USA vs Australian education systems?

I read Apple’s presentation as a case of: “help! we’re running out of smart people to staff the corridors at Apple. Please help us better educate our students!”

[Ed – to localise this can we discuss what ACT schools could and should be doing?]

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6 Responses to eBooks in Education?
Rusalka Rusalka 12:24 pm 05 Feb 12

Frug said :

I am a nerdish teacher and love that we are bringing in more ICT to the classroom. I am, however, shocked at how hyped up educators and bureaucrats are about anything Apple…

+1 to this. It is all hype about the brand in regards to Apple. Agreed that android products are behind Apple on tablets, but in regards to other products especially computers, I feel like Apple is doing a great disservice to “the kids these days”.

While my nephews and nieces are very tech savvy, they have no idea what to do to fix their Apple products when they break besides going to the Mac shop. There is no wading through programs and code testing things and learning how it works. Nor can they pull open a case and look at what is working or not within the computer without now voiding warranty.

I feel that if schools encouraged kids on android systems and pc systems that the kids can interact with the system more this would be better in the long run. I think that the dependence on Apple will in the long run stifle innovation in these kids in the IT department. But at least they will stylish.

Grail Grail 11:06 am 05 Feb 12

“Closed” is a relative term. You can write your own software to run on iPads, you can write your own books. The iPad can handle ePub features that the Kindle and friends cannot – simple things like colour, animation, movies and sideshows. The Kindle Fire is catching up, but the Amazon space is still much more “closed” than the iOS space.

What I am most interested in with iTunes U is the ability to define a syllabus as an electronic schedule which can allow parents to help students focus on course material – or even help the parents relearn the subject matter to help their kids learn.

It is interesting that DET still considers its devices to be hostile, even though they are easily managed at the corporate level. It just requires non-Microsoft products to handle the management, which means opening up the infrastructure from the current vendor lockin.

I wonder how much resistance there will be from DET to the idea of making the syllabus public ally available through such avenues as iTunes U and upcoming offerings from Microsoft and Amazon?

Frug Frug 9:25 pm 04 Feb 12

I am a nerdish teacher and love that we are bringing in more ICT to the classroom. I am, however, shocked at how hyped up educators and bureaucrats are about anything Apple. iPads are wonderful tools with many learning applications but the Apple universe is very closed. We’ve only just started to emerge from the Microsoft Domination with Ubuntu and Open Office very viable options. If we get into Apple iPads, Apple Apps, Apple Books will we get a cheaper better product? And what can an iPad do that a ‘pissy little notebook’ can’t? Is it worth the extra $300?

As for text books being of limited use – I can’t agree. There are some really great ones out there that are perfect for a range of purposes. Journals? Um….no – how many are pitched at Year 8s?

If we are going to spend money on getting kids ready for an adult world we are predicting they’ll inhabit, we should be investing in Web2 apps access, providing free Wifi in schools for the kids with smart phones (approx 50% and climbing) and….as brave as this sounds…re-thinking our ‘all social networking is satan’s evil’ policy.

p1 p1 12:38 pm 21 Jan 12

Gerry-Built said :

I wonder how many science texts featuring intelligent design are included in the collection?

Books such as those belong in the “fiction” section and no where else.

Text books have always had a much more limited application then he publishers would have you believe. Schools looking at hooking their students up with access to a good selection of relevant journals would make much more sense.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 9:49 pm 20 Jan 12

I wonder how many science texts featuring intelligent design are included in the collection?

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 9:46 pm 20 Jan 12

Actually, many public primary schools and high schools have started, or will start this year, trialling the iPads in select classes. There are a few stumbling blocks, mainly that ACT DET still classifies the iOS devices as “hostile” and offering very limited support. From my experience, I’d be very excited to be offered the use of these devices in my classes, as Media is a perfect subject for them. They’d have been a much better option, IMHO, than the pissy little notebooks most schools got from the Rudd rollout…

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