It is inevitable with the growth of the ebook market and the huge strides with the technology of tablet PC’s that textbooks made with dead trees in paper based books will start becoming available in ebook form instead. No longer will students in schools have to carry around with them a huge backpack full of heavy books damaging their still growing spines. Students will be able to carry all of there books in one simple thin computer and the iPad with iPad textbooks, or etextbooks for iPad, is just perfect for that. We will see a lot more of iPads in education.
Not only are the books are going to be a much lighter for students to carry in the form of Electronic text books within the iPad there will also be a benefit in that the books can go further in terms of displaying the information with audio, video and 3-D representations. It will take a big turn around in thinking by the publishing companies, but some are starting to move in this direction and producing the sort of textbooks for iPad that will enhance the learning experience. iPads in schools is the future, for sure.
Another thing to consider with the growth of the e-book for use as textbooks for iPad will be the ability of teachers to promote the new form of learning. Teachers are notoriously fuddy-duddy and do like to have a real book in their hands, so it may take some time to have the technology take over completely. Lessons will need to be organised differently so that the information is imparted into the minds of the students in a way that suits the new format and also so that students do not take advantage of things like copy and paste and the ease with which they can’t skim the media without taking in the information and learning it properly.
Textbooks for iPad are starting to become available and the iPad educational app Inkling is a platform for these textbooks which are interactive and built especially for the iPad. Inkling turns the old paper textbooks into interactive learning experiences that are engaging for students and will still be compatible with ordinary text books for classroom purposes.
One particularly good thing with these type of text books is that you have the ability to buy just a chapter or two or if you wish you can buy the complete book. If the chapter of the book is useful then you might want to delve into the rest of the book. There is a complete my book function which will give you the the chapters of that book not yet purchased. Teachers will often use just a chapter or two of a book in a school lesson and it is a shame to have to buy the complete book and duplicate information found in other books you have. Teachers will iPads in school for lesson plans too.
Using iPad Textbooks
In the old paper-based books it was generally frowned upon for writing inside the book to make notes or add to the information, but with electronic iPad textbooks it is possible to have bookmarks and add your own notes so that you can go back to it later and remember more clearly, details about the subject you are learning. With an e-book for iPad a lot depends upon the user interface and with Inkling you do have an intuitive way to read the book and work your way through it so that it is easier to study. Also you can have interactive quizzes which will help you work out how much you have understood of the material within the book.
It is easy to jump to a specific page in iPad Textbooks, very useful for the teacher to say where the students need to start in the class for the day. Also there is a very good search engine included within the iPad textbook app which will predict the words you’re searching for as you type, so that you get to the place in the book so much more quickly.
Geographic Considerations for Textbooks for iPad
With iPad textbooks there will be pushes from certain geographic areas such as with Virginia in the United States, where they have a free application for students to assess and improve their understanding of the social studies content that they have been following in class. Students can check to see if they’ve learned enough to satisfy the Virginia standards of learning.
In this application students can go over the content, study flash cards and do the multiple choice questions on the content from each chapter. At the end of this study they get a score card which shows how they did with the standard tests. Students are also able to check their latest score with the scores from previous tests, so they know if they are making an improvement with the studies or getting worse.
This sort of specific testing or learning facility is highly geographically based and needs to be suited to the country and to the various areas within a country even. It is not impossible though for education authorities to be able to pay for the programming needed to make these applications to be suitable for their local students.
Medical Textbooks for the iPad
A number of medical facilities have already started to create interactive iPad textbooks on specific areas of medicine such as leukaemia, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Also within the books you will find links to external multimedia where it is not appropriate to add those illustrations within the textbook itself.
The iPad As A Learning Tool For Small Children
There are a large number of iPad textbooks in the iTunes App Store that are available for educational purposes, some of which are more to be chosen by parents of small children, so that their kids are learning while they are playing and are not so much actual text books that you would find within a school. You will find textbooks for iPad on subjects such as mathematics, the NASA space program, animals, various puzzles, photography and apps that are great for learning languages. These textbooks vary in terms of the content within and also for the level of student. The app for the periodic table is a showcase application which take something I found extremely boring in school and makes it really interesting.
iPad Textbooks in Schools
Certainly publishers of iPad textbooks for schools cannot afford to ignore the technology. Already a number of schools are requiring students to have an iPad to be able to participate within lessons. Some schools are providing the iPad and can lock it down so that students are not sitting playing games during lessons and are actually learning something. Text books for iPad are the future of educational publishing. There are now many schools using iPads in one form or another.