Nov 27 2011
We all know that the Kindle does deliver much more than the iPAD when it comes to leisure reading… the use of the e-ink display has no flicker and so is kinder to the eyes rather than the iPad with its LCD backlit display that flickers at a frequency that over long periods of time will cause tiredness. BUT would an iPAD work for textbooks – as these are not read over long periods of time but in short bursts and if the software offered the ability to annotate and collaborate it could even add to the model and use of textbooks. Obviously beyond cost and the benefits of not carrying around a bag full of brick heavy books – there are many more advantages however up until now this has not led the shall we say traditional textbook publishers to rush forward with ebooks and systems that would work for students.
In fact while designing and writing one of the new Pamoja online IB courses – it was evident how difficult it was to persuade publishers that this could be a fabulous way ahead and not ruin there current ‘business models.’ Often the rental models used and software is so intrusive or costly that it is cheaper to buy two physical copies. However things seem to be changing and recently we took part in a Cambridge trial of Read and Note software where Cambridge Unviersity Press are actually publishing and sharing official IB books and software that allows collaboration. Great news but as the Read and Note software is browser based would it work well on the iPad? Below and some screenshots showing it in action on the iPad.
Initial thoughts are it is fine but could be better and if Cambridge want to expand in this area then making the browsing experience on mobile devices there number one priority will be essential. Obviously Cambridge do not provide the technology and so will need to lean on companies like Read and Note to keep on improving the user experience and often the only route is to go down a native app route rather than through a browser to make sure that the user experience is a reliable and smooth one. One of the most frustrating areas was that none of the annotation tools worked to any level of use… but all I can say is it is a start and something our school can carefully consider if the iPad trial moves forward quickly.
- Textbooks Finally Take a Big Leap to Digital By CHRISTOPHER F. SCHUETZE (spiriterial.com)
- Which tablet is best for textbooks? (news.cnet.com)
- Kindle vs. iPad (wir-sprechen-online.com)