Monday, February 27, 2012

Education and Ebooks

For hundreds of years we've been using traditional paper books to convey information. The computer revolution is now coming full spiral with the new computer tablets and smart phones. Apple's recent release of the iBooks app is leading the trend towards exploring new ways of learning, and will likely revolutionize how we read and share information for years to come.

iBooks is changing how we design and read textbooks. It includes: new ways of bookmarking, animations, videos, audio, a dictionary among so many other features. The iBook Author app takes it a step further and allows writers, teachers, students to create books that combine all these multimedia capabilities.

I'm thrilled at the possibilities of this technology to excite kids about learning and envision this wave as the beginning of a shift in how we communicate. The speed with which ebooks are taking hold is astonishing. The cost and materials savings in shifting from paper to electrons is undeniable. Ebooks keep information more current (less outdated textbooks in schools), and allows for students with different learning styles to engage more fully with the topics covered.

Keep an eye out for the "ebook wave" as it crests and schools add more "living textbooks" to their classroom. And as prices drop, their demand will increase. There are some great ebook educational titles coming out, and I was pleased to hear that The Sustainability Revolution was recently selected by Apple to demonstrate the capabilities of ebooks on the iPad platform in academic settings.