Team 55 mistakenly sent out an email saying the university was considering adopting a policy requiring all students to have an iPad by 2013.
And as long as the Mobile Learning Initiative team follows through on the idea, we think this would be a change that benefits students and the future of the university.
There are a lot of genuine benefits for students and faculty including custom content, group note taking and real-time feedback from student to teacher. We would also like not having to carry a bunch of books around, but that’s not a legitimate reason to implement this. We’re just weak.
One thing we do worry about is the book we will receive if the university does go digital. Most traditional textbooks aren’t published as interactive books yet, and we don’t want regular PDFs.
There was a lot of talk about Inkling, a San Francisco based company built on the idea of envisioning a better interactive textbook for the iPad, at the Connected Open House this year.
Inkling and Apple with iBooks are doing some great work to bring traditional publishing companies into the interactive age and allow professors to publish their own textbooks.
We like the idea of using Inkling books, or something like them, but would really like professors to create their own books.
We realize it would be a lot more work for them, but we think it could enhance the effectiveness of their lecturing tremendously. They are hired to be experts in the field, so it would be great if they were able to compile the best journal articles on each source instead of having to find a textbook that covers each topic pretty well.
Eventually, tablets will take over most of our daily reading. The iPad is an amazing device and other tablets are catching up quickly.
The format of the new textbooks isn’t something that will be ready before we can start using it. The technology will never be completely ready – it will always be evolving. We might as well be involved in the direction it takes.