Apple made a series of exciting announcements today related to education that are worth serious reflection in the coming days. When we committed to integrating technology in the curriculum with a 1-to-1 student iPad program, our teachers and leadership saw a natural connection with San Domenico's integrated sustainability curriculum. Handouts and assignments can be "passed out" to students and "returned" to teachers digitally without being printed.
Further, traditional textbooks -- with their weight, cost, and limitations -- seem ripe for iPad replacement. We have been successfully using HMH Fuse Algebra 1 in Algebra classes but few similar products have existed. Our faculty have experimented with moving "beyond" the textbook with course web pages or collections of material hosted in our cloud.
Apple, today, announced a series of new products that continue to push the iPads effectiveness as a textbook replacement. iBooks Textbooks promises to give us easier access to traditional textbook content on the iPad with a compelling interface. iBooks Author looks like it will give our own faculty the opportunity to take their own work and make it available on our students' iPads with a real Multi-Touch interface.
We don't yet understand all the implications of these announcements yet. I was excited that the infrastructure of the Volume Purchase Program does work with textbooks but I'm not certain how to deploy books to hundreds of iPads quite yet. One thing seems clear to me: the new offerings look strong and will do what Apple often does best: shake things up.
I welcome your comments and thoughts on today's news!
Christopher K. Sokolov