Skip to main content

iPads and Textbooks - and a battery backup

To me the idea digital textbook will most likely be a hybrid of the new pad devices and the e-ink readers. The iPad is a great device and able to run multiple ebook formats, it is highly intuitive in operation, and the touch color LCD display works great, but that said, at best you could get maybe a day's worth of battery life. The latest version of e-ink devices now runs for between two weeks and a month on a charge. So when students were just doing reading, taking notes from a book, etc, it would be better done with the low power option, and then switch to the more active display for other things. I just remember when I introduced a set of digital cameras for my students to use in my science class, even though I was using long lasting rechargeable batteries, I was amazed at how quickly students could drain them, often in just one class period. I think it is a great idea to start replacing textbooks with digital versions, such as could run on an iPad. For schools that are doing this, remember to design/plan for what will you do when a student shows up to class with their digital textbook batteries dead, as most classrooms don't have a lot of wall plugs.  Any school that does do this should plan for some kind of battery back up (such as the Zaggsparq 2.0, or other similar product), which will connect the the device and allow the student to continue use during class time.


Delaware high school replaces textbooks with iPads
A Delaware high school plans to replace textbooks with iPads this fall to help expose students to the technology they likely are to use in their future careers. School officials say the iPad was a good choice for the school because of its mobility, simplicity and educational applications. The Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.) (3/23)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ebooks as Textbooks - Part 2 - Highlighting

Highlighting can be a very effective tool in reading and learning no matter the kind of text being read: from novels to textbooks.

Most textbooks or other forms of information text will usually used text features along with graphics to help organize information presented in the text.  These elements are done to help focus attention on important or key concepts and provide additional information. The text organization itself can include structural elements such as heading, subheading, index, glossary, paragraph spacing, bulleted or numbered lists, sidebars or side boxes, italics, underlines or bold for words or even sections. Graphic content can include the use of symbols, colors, illustrations, pictures, diagrams, charts, and graphs.
The act of highlighting is less time consuming and much easier than note-taking (to be discussed in an upcoming posting). To be effective in highlighting it should be a kind of metacognitive approach of sifting or filtering to identify the important content…

Google Maps

An exciting time today, as I was riding my bike to work, I saw the Google Maps Car driving by. You may be wondering what the Google Maps car has to do with ebooks, but often books have maps and Google Books has lots of books with Google Maps developed from extracting the locations from the text. This kind of mapping got me so excited that myself and Jerome Burg wrote a book on using digital mapping with books. But the car reminded me that these maps are out there just waiting for you to start using them. For example if you go to Google Books, and you are reading Vern's Around the World in 80 Days, look in the About this Book section, and then scroll down to see if the book has a Places mentioned in this book... component.

In one class I copied the map from Google Books and then we put it on the wall, so that as we read the book, we tracked where we were in the story on the wall map. One warning though, for some reason the books with maps in Google Books seems to randomly change fr…

The darkside of textbooks

This may illustrate what could (and most likely will) be the darkside of opensource digital textbooks. Any individual or small group could create a textbook and make it digitally available, but it could either be slanted to a certain view or not include information that an author disagreed with. Yes, teachers should be able to supplement information provided by the textbook to provide a better picture of the actual situation, but that too has issues. For many teachers, the textbook is the curriculum. For example, in science classrooms, teachers have been known to rely heavily on textbooks (Driscoll, Moallem, Dick, & Kirby, 1994).  The textbook, often a critical part of developing the curriculum for a school, and has relegated the teacher to occupy more of a passive role in the planning process.

Historically, published curriculum materials, such as textbooks, have been the main component for teaching in the US (Goodlad, 1984).  These textbooks provided a variety of aspects of the e…