Apple Announces Efforts to 'Reinvent' Textbooks

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In a rather odd Press Conference in January, Apple brought in the international media to the Guggenheim Museum in New York to announce that they were going to 'reinvent textbooks.' Although an interesting thought, the actual content seemed to me to be rather naive, the textbook industry - and especially the process of textbook adoption at the K-12 level particularly - is very complex and often very political....think of all the ongoing problems with evolution versus creationism? Also the announcement seems premature since there was little to announce - other than Apple would love everyone to get an iPad (and imagine how long these would last in K-12 settings!), though all school systems are cash-strapped today and government data shows that one in five children live in poverty in the U.S. Apple has a long way to go to prove their concept here.

I was able to talk with some very smart people about all of this for a news blog for Information Today's NewsBreaks. Outsell's Kate Worlock was one: "I think that the announcement does more to reinvent business models and practices than it does to reinvent textbooks. The new iBook 2 textbooks, while impressive, aren't terribly different to something you'd see from Inkling or in Nature Education's new Principles of Biology. Of course, iBooks 2 focuses more on K-12, so it's new for that market, but not revolutionary."

What do you think? Am I wrong or missing something here?

11 Comments

I don't think you missed anything. As a K-12 teacher who loves my Mac and iPad, I was expecting something a whole lot more than this. Completely missed the mark.

Keep up these great posts!

Textbooks for grammar instruction can include information — such as sentence structure, parts of speech, usage rules and verb tenses — about the language toward which they are geared. Grammar books also commonly contain instructional material about how to write effectively in different formats, whether scientific reports or descriptive or persuasive essays. They also may include details on how to research, document, and write about information from various sources. Such books might have simple grammar exercises as well as more involved activities requiring students to write in-depth paragraphs and full essays. Some grammar manuals also give students information about how to study and how to present speeches correctly.

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