Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 17:41 UTC
Apple Apple's education event just ended, and just as Ars Technica said, Apple announced better support for textbooks, as well as a textbook authoring tool. The textbook authoring tool is heavily inspired by Keynote and Pages, and hence, I already know it's going to be top-notch and very pleasant to use. In addition, the company also repositioned iTunes U as a Blackboard competitor. As great as all these new tools are, several large red flags went up in my mind: I remember what it was like being the only student who didn't use Windows. Update: "Any e-textbook author that wants access to the iPad-toting masses must make his or her work an exclusive to iBooks 2."
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I sympathise but..
by Tony Swash on Thu 19th Jan 2012 18:44 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I sympathise with your view on this and your anxiety about lock in but I am not sure anything else is possible. All technology providers try to lock you into their ecosystems, those haven't taken that path simple die. Even the old fashioned printed text book vendors tried to lock people in by making their textbooks the obligatory set texts.

At least this way we get Apple's excellent design and ease of use, so students get to use tools that empower rather frustrate them and Apple does seem committed across the board to both pushing down content prices whilst leaving room for a viable business model for content makers. Plus the iBook Author app opens content creation to the many.

I presume that to compliment this new initiative (and to pull the ground from under the Windows 8 tablets, the Amazon Fire etc) it is likely that the iPad 3 launch will see the iPad 2 have a few minor upgrades and a price cut to become the new entry level low cost iPad. If Apple could get the iPad 2 down to $299 they kill most of what's left of the competition.

So I understand the unease but the actual effects, certainly in the short to medium term, look very positive.

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