iBook for education– makes sense or nonsense ?

Apple once again takes one giant leap for man-kind. This time they have set their sights on education.

on the 19th January Apple has announce that they are actively working on changing education. Textbooks should move onto a more electronic version of the same textbook however this time, it has all the benefits of being run on a tablet. This means that it allows authors much more creative freedom by adding video, sound & links to make learning more fun and interactive.

iBook v2Apple announced the version2 of their iBook App. Once this is downloaded and installed, it brings to life all the interactive content in the textbook.


In order to have an interactive book, you need to provide the tools for the author. Apple has therefore announces the iBook Author.  This is where authors can unleash their creative power and create books – all for free.

Author use the free software to bring books to life

But wait, there is more !

itunes UniversityIn true Apple style, they have also announces iTunes University which allows student to participate in official courses from various leading education institutions. The app also allows you to submit your assignments.


Complete sense or nonsense ?

To me this makes complete sense. The way children are consuming media has changed so surely school textbooks should change too. My two kids are at school and the lug home everyday heavy books only to use a few pages from each for homework.

As we all know, kids take to technology like fish to water. They are not afraid to try things, don’t have the “if I do this it might break” adult mentality. Kids are naturally curious and so interactive books can only foster that.

In my previous post of what kids want to Christmas, I highlighted that :

Interesting to see that the e-readers for for 6- 12 year olds came in at 17% and was ranked number 3 at 18% for kids 13+ – does this mean children can still read ? Maybe e-reader has made it cool again !

By making the author software free, this will encourage traditional authors to try the new way to bring their content to live and will foster a new invigorated spirit with the children who have to plough through pages and pages and pages of text of World War 2– imagine a video showing US soldiers liberating a concentration camps vs. 500 pages of text…

From a South African point:

As the system becomes more adopted, the prices of the hardware will reduce making it affordable for all levels of schools. As with everything “Apple” related, competing products will come out further reducing cost.

I look forward to seeing this system deployed in South Africa – but unfortunately not anytime soon.

Maybe, just maybe, South Africa should be THE test country. Many Rural schools don’t have textbooks for the kids anyways, no blackboards and sometime not even classrooms – so maybe should we not just skip over these “traditional” items  and jump right to Technology ?

Imagine if these kids grow up with Tech in their hands from day 1 – what a difference that will make to South Africa’s future….

we can hope cant we ?


  1. Again we can see fantastic innovation from apple, but as usuall the authoring app in only for the OS X platform… What happens if you use a windows PC and a I-pad and want to write for the ipad? I guess the standard apple answer is go out and by a Mac. If only we could all affor one in SA.

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