PLEDGE NOW
The Digital Future Of Textbooks

The revolution brewing in your child’s backpack. One little computer tablet may soon replace all those big old textbooks.

Apple employees demonstrate interactive features of iBooks 2 for iPad, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in New York. IBooks 2 will be able to display books with videos and other interactive features. (AP)

Apple employees demonstrate interactive features of iBooks 2 for iPad, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in New York. IBooks 2 will be able to display books with videos and other interactive features. (AP)

It hits in middle school.  The twenty-pound school backpack.  Loaded with notepads and pencils and gear and – above all – textbooks.  Big old heavy paper-and-ink textbooks loaded with math lessons and history and diagrams of frog intestines.  It sounds so 20th Century.

Now, there’s a push on to throw out the textbooks and load everything a young student needs onto one little nifty tablet computer.  Weighs just a pound.  Carries the world.  As many digital textbooks as you like.  Ready to dazzle.  Will they work?

This hour, On Point:  when textbooks go digital, go tablet.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Katie Ash, staff writer for Education Week and Education Week’s tech publication “Digital Directions.”

Charlene Chausis, Manager for Technology Training & Integration at the Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.

John Bailey, director of Whiteboard Advisers, an education consulting group. He worked in the Bush administration Director of Education Technology at the US department of education. At the White House, he was a domestic adviser to the president on education and labor policies.

From Tom’s Reading List

Inside Higher Ed “Apple made its much-anticipated move on the education technology industry on Thursday, announcing a revamped version of its iTunes U platform [3] that could challenge traditional learning management systems. It also unveiled new tools for creating and distributing low-cost digital textbooks that could speed the pace of e-text adoption.”

MSNBC “Apple announced that it was “reinventing the textbook” using the iPad, its iBooks bookstore and a new kind of book creation tool. But despite the tremendous success of the iPad in recent years, and despite the biggest partners in educational publishing, does the company have the ability to effect real change?”

Ars Technica “”iBooks” are no longer old Apple laptops made out of white plastic, nor are they simply e-books to be purchased within Apple’s iBookstore. Apple announced what it’s calling “iBooks 2″ during its media event in New York on Thursday, a textbook software program that allows textbook-makers and instructors to create rich, interactive teaching media for the iPad.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #3: Jeb Bush — Cry for Me, America!
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked a New Hampshire audience to clap for him — and our own Jack Beatty was there to hear it.

More »
Comment