But, here’s why iBooks won’t change everything.
1) Heavy Reading on an LCD Screen Sucks
In all of today’s demos, I saw a maximum of 40 words per page next to a 3D-interactive model or video. Using your finger to manipulate a cell. Learning physics through equations coming out of a skateboarder’s body. But, these are textbooks we’re talking about. 80,000 words. And you’re going to read all of that on an LCD backlit screen?
For you Kindle e-ink’ers, you may have forgotten what it’s like. And some people have no problem reading on an LCD screen. But for many, it’s not going to happen. The iPad is NOT a great reading tool.
While iBooks can magically bring interactivity and multimedia to traditional textbooks, I don’t see how they can “replace” them, unless we completely change what a textbook is – and take out a majority of the text…
2) Real Game Changers are Device-Agnostic
How many kids have iPads? How many kids have MACs at home?
As a company, it’s clear that Apple wants to outright own the device space. But pragmatically, this isn’t going to happen. They’re going to share it. So, by encouraging content development via an iBook app, native only to Apple, this is really a short-term and narrow solution.
Whereas, HTML5 books via Scribd are device-agnostic. And responsive web design best practices could make the book usable whether the student has an iPad, a laptop PC or a low-end smart phone.
We took a step forward yesterday. But, more in the direction of Apple than in the direction of mainstreaming the technological evolution of education.
Here’s where you tell me why I’m wrong.