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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RE: I sympathise but..
by ChrisJames on Sat 21st Jan 2012 07:41 UTC in reply to "I sympathise but.."
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This may come as a complete and inconceivable shock to you, but some people don't like Apple's software interfaces. Not that they think the products are too expensive or some other value argument - simply do not like the interface and the rules on how you are allowed to interact. I currently use use multiple OS versions - Windows, Linux and OSX. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but OSX is not my preferred UI. I understand that we are talking iOS and not OSX here, but the same thought process applies.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I sympathise but..
by Tony Swash on Sat 21st Jan 2012 11:55 in reply to "RE: I sympathise but.."
Tony Swash Member since:

In the end either this initiative will lead to better education tools and to better educational results or it won't. Judge it by results.

So far the evidence on iPad education use is promising.

See here for white paper on the "HMC Fuse: Algebra I" pilot program at Ameila Earhart Middle School in California's Riverside Unified School District. The Algebra I digital textbook is touted as the world's first full-curriculum algebra application developed exclusively for Apple's iPad.

In its test run, the "HMH Fuse" application helped more than 78 percent of students score "Proficient" or "Advanced" on the spring 2011 California Standards Test. That was significantly higher than the 59 percent of peers who used traditional textbooks.

"Students' interaction with the device was more personal," Earhart Principal Coleman Kells said. "You could tell the students were more engaged. Using the iPad was more normal, more understandable for them."

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: I sympathise but..
by ChrisJames on Sat 21st Jan 2012 20:04 in reply to "RE[2]: I sympathise but.."
ChrisJames Member since:

No one is saying that trying different tools and new technology in education is a bad thing.

The supposition you are trying to support is that iOS is the best way to do this and will give an experience that cannot be matched by anything else. Therefore, we need to willingly accept Apple's lock-in as the price that must be paid for new educational tools.

The description and teacher's testimonial talk of access to videos, the more approachable nature of a thin tablet versus a thick textbook, the more one-on-one and interactive nature of doing the problem sets, the interest in using the different technology, etc. Not the inherent supremacy of the Apple experience.

Locking things down to one platform diminishes the ability to try more tests like this and experimenting with different methods in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 4