MacCast Member #111 - Thoughts on Education Event
V Apple Education event
V Textbooks
* 1.5 million iPads in use in education
* 1,000 in one to one programs
V Reinventing he textbook
* in use 5 to 6 years
* iPad, durable?
V iBooks 2
* Different reading experiences. Portrait text, landscape interactive.
* Glossary and index
* Interactive review questions
V Highlighting and notes
* Note review page
V Study cards, include glossary terms.
* No really good way to export or print content
* Can email notes.
V My impressions
V Limited selection at the moment (8 titles), but that WILL change quickly I think.
* Pearson, McGraw Hill, Mifflin Harcourt, make 90% of all high school textbooks.
V I really like the interactivity
* Call outs and highlighting in diagrams to add emphasis.
* Support for media and 3d models is great.
* Worth pointing out that Apple said in the Keynote that the main challenge facing teachers that they felt the iPad could address is engagement.
* As Glenn Fleishmann at Macworld points out, applying technology to this problem has been happening since the 80s and many studies have shown that it's inconclusive what impact if any technology has.
* I think this kind of interactivity and technology can spark the interest in some students, but keeping student engagement still falls on teachers, parents, and educators. In other words, iPads as textbooks might help interest an apathetic student, but technology alone won't keep them engaged.
* I like the auto switch of formatting, but wish the portrait view offered a more "book like" page turning experience
* Pinch to get to the chapter contents is cool.
V Higlighting and notes are great and the Note card and study note feature is really handy.
* Shuffle.
* Which it wasn't only linear
* Would be nice if there were some sharing or collaboration options (besides email).
* Lost my notes after an erase and install.
* Interactive review questions is cool, but could be better. If you check an answer and get it wrong you can change it and re-check and then score a perfect in the review at the end. (honor system).
V iBooks Author
* Looks a lot like Keynote
V Drag in Word file
* Supports styles and layout book
V Widgets
* Image gallery
* Drag in interactive Keynote objects
* JavaScript and HTML, Dashcode widgets
V Glossary creation
* Select and add
* Portrait view created automatically
* iPad preview feature
* Publish to iBookStore
* OS X Lion only
* Free
* Highscool textbooks $14.99 or less
* Books always update
* Students purchase themselves or use a redemption code from the school
V My Impressions
V Pricing doesn't do much to change textbooks for schools from a cost perspective.
* Traditional Textbooks are $60 to $100 each
* So for 5 years iPad textbooks would be roughly the same cost for the content and you still need the iPad
* Fraser Speirs makes similar points is a Macworld piece. He was hoping for some sort of Enterprise lending iBook library loan system for schools.
* The method Apple choose to launch with is likely a compromise. Textbook publishers have already commented they plan to make up for the lower cost eBooks in " volume".
V The debate over the EULA which restricts selling iBook format files outside the iBookstore
* I think the fact that it's in there is dumb and causing a lot of unneccessay angst.
* Even with a "free" app I think Apple doesn't need the restriction.
* Doesn't address what happens if I want to sell an iBook media rich book, but Apple won't approve it for sale in the iBookstore.
V Yes I understand that it's all Apple's right, I question why they care. With or without the clause I believe the majority of authors and publishers using the tool would opt for iBookstore distribution and for the small percentage that didn't Apple shouldn't worry about it.
* Concern may be Google or Amazon making a store with better terms to sell iBook Authored content?
* It also needs to be made clear that Apple isn't restricting or claiming licence of the content or even the resulting file. The violation would be on the use of the Software, which just makes the language weirder.
V iBook, PDF, and text export. No ePub, but that is part of Pages. Some feel it doesn't export ePub to lock users into iBooks.
* The format is slightly tweaked ePub and not fully ePub 2 or ePub 3 compliant.
* iBook publishing to the iBookstore requires an ISBN (can buy online for around $100). May limit self publishers, but not serious ones which is probably a good thing. Still may limit the ablity to profit from a small specialized market, which iBooks Author seems prime for.
V Still though I think the combination of iBook Textbooks and iBooks Author may be the key to Apples long term success in the space
* There is a common strategy popping up in Apples media initiatives.
* Publishers are reluctant to let go and adopt new models or pricing. Apple makes some concessions and offers them what they want to launch the new platform.
* Meanwhile, the goal is to reinvent the model and cut out the middlemen.
* With iBooks Author, creators now have tools and and a distribution channel to self publish almost on a one click level.
* Millions of iPads provide a large and compelling market.
* While publishers are busy trying to protect their old models, Apple is quickly developing a new one.
V Textbooks only work on the iPad, not on iPods or iPhones
* Be nice to be able to bundle in a "Universal" feature when just the 'Text', notes, higlighting, and note cards are available.
* The portait view would need to be modifed for a smaller sceen since it has that sidebar column.
V iTunes U
* This has been an underapprecaited feature of iTunes for a while
V The new App brings "courses". These have everything in 1 place.
* lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabuses
* Virtually "dropping in" on courses. What Jobs did when he dropped out of college
V Odds and Ends
* I had trouble downloading my purchased content. Turned out my iPad was out of space.
* Textbooks are large, several GB which makes sense considering the interactive content.