mEducation: A new way of learning
By Susan Zhu, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications
January 31, 2012
I’m a huge proponent of education, which is why I applaud Apple’s initiative
to make educational resources more accessible through the iBook 2 for the iPad. Apparently others share my enthusiasm as evidenced by the 350,000+ textbook downloads from the iBookstore within 3 days of launch (according to Global Equities Research).
iBooks offer full-screen textbooks with features such as interactive animations, diagrams, quizzes, review questions, and annotation tools. Content can be updated easily, and iBooks make backpacks considerably lighter. Additionally, leading education services companies—like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson—will offer educational titles for under $15.00, which is significantly less expensive than current mainstream medical textbooks. Just imagine how this will revolutionize the way medicine is taught and studied.
According to iMedicalApps
, iBooks textbooks offer a study cards feature, which allows users to create their own personalized flashcards based on the textbook. Medical students can highlight material and then use it later for reference or self-quizzing.
What’s even more exciting is that the iBook Author, a free authoring app, allows medical educators to create textbooks to complement their own courses. This facilitates a much more personalized, hands-on approach to teaching.
Apple also announced a new iTunes U app, which, according to Apple, gives “educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to teach and take entire courses.” iMedicalApps predicts that this suite of media content could “become a ‘hub’ for students to engage and learn interactively—something certain to catch the eye of advanced medical educators.”
Let’s also not forget the money that tablets can save on printing and paper costs. The Yale School of Medicine provided its students with iPads and was able to save $100,000
annually by eliminating copying, collating, and distribution costs. As an added bonus, e-textbooks are also environmentally friendly.
Since the iPad is currently the most expensive consumer tablet, starting at $499, I’d love to see other companies build on what Apple has started but with a lower price point. Wouldn’t it be great if tablets such as the NOVO7 Basic tablet
at $99 and the Kindle Fire
at $199 provided similar interactive educational tools? Perhaps we can also hope that future innovators will embrace an open Web standard so that the ability to experience this new way of learning will not be restricted by income.
I’m excited about the benefits that e-textbooks and tablets will provide for our education system. Bravo, Apple, for leading the way.