Across campus, more and more classes are trying out the iPad as a learning tool and textbook alternative.
While only a small portion of the student body currently has the new Apple product, we suppose this will soon change.
Students struggling to pay for tuition are unlikely to be keen on shelling out an extra $499 for the cheapest iPad. But when compared to the price of textbooks, the cost doesn’t seem too exuberant. Some students have to pay upwards of $1000 for their books.
Publishers are releasing newer versions of textbooks every two or three years and charging the price of a new full book for a few modified pages and a new chapter. While this brings in more money for the publishing company, the main concern should be for the student. Cheap new updates can be offered for a fraction of the price and also save on new formatting costs.
Instead of purchasing new books each semester, the iPad is a one time purchase (until a newer version comes out.)
More than just a textbook, the iPad is also a great note-taking tool. More similar to an iPhone than a laptop computer, the iPad isn’t ideal, but its keyboard is faster than pen and paper, and with it’s touch screen, more models and graphics can be used instead a mouse.
One of the biggest failings in completely replacing textbooks with the iPad is the lack of textbook variety. Currently there are more hard-copy textbooks than electronic ones, but we believe as more and more students purchase iPads, and more and more professors assign electronic textbooks, its market will increase.
As the world continues to go paperless, the electronic textbooks, readers and interactive devices will be utilized more and more.
Abilene Christian University prides itself on its mobile learning initiative and is constantly striving to be at the forefront of technological learning. The iPad is presently the best and most diverse electronic textbook device available.
The iPad was released less than a year ago, and two classes are already using iPads full-time and others use the device on rotation. This occurs on the campus of ACU alone.
So it may not be this year, or in five years, but textbooks are becoming outdated. In the workplace, employees need to function quickly and efficiently in a technological world, and the iPad is a medium that is here to stay.