The future of textbooks

IT feels as if every time I write about a major innovation in the way we consume content, I am writing about something new that Apple has done.

From my previous columns you will know how often Apple changes the way we interact with content and media.

Last week Apple had some great news for every educator and student around the world.

Textbooks at a maximum price of about $15 (that is about R120). Yes, it includes many textbooks that are selling for about ten times the price.

The process will take some time, but if educators prescribe books from some of the larger international publishers, the textbooks will be quite a bit cheaper.

These textbooks are then downloaded to the iPad for consumption by the learner.

It may take a while for all textbooks to move from a printed format to an electronic format, but the change is coming. The cost reduction will justify the cost of purchasing the iPad in the first place.

After changes are made to the master copy of the textbook, students will be able to get an updated version of the textbook in just a few clicks.

I downloaded one or two of these books and I love the fact that video and audio files are embedded into the book. You are really drawn into the learning experience.

Apple also announced a very easy interactive textbook authoring tool that is available on Apple computers. This will give each content creator the ability to truly make their books or even class notes interactive and engaging.

If you own an iPad you should rush over to iTunes and take a look at some of the free books that are available.