I shared the following as a comment today on Kevin Gaugler’s post, “In which the second edition of the textbook might be an app.” Kevin wrote:
Before Apple’s big announcement today, I made a prediction that Apple’s device would disrupt the textbook industry and consequently education, particularly language education, as we know it. Apple has built its iPad on the same popular platform that runs both the iPod Touch and the iPhone and has added a bookstore to its iTunes application called iBooks. Perhaps the next edition of our textbooks, however, won’t necessarily be found in the iBooks section , but rather in the Apps section. The advent of the iPad could quite possibly cause us to re-envision our educational materials as ecosystems that seamlessly direct text, audio, video, social networking and gaming toward a singular set of learning outcomes rather than just an e-book. Remember that when the iPhone was first launched, it did not include an Apps store, so the amazing functionality of the device was not entirely realized until developers rethought previous assumptions about the phone. So, too, I predict, will we see new kinds of learning affordances over time via the iPad.
I responded by writing:
I hope you’re right about the iPad and Apple’s emerging role as disruptors of the textbook industry, and I’ve shared similar hopes/predictions on my blog too. I think Apple’s view of DRM is key to this question, however. Timothy Lee’s post yesterday, “The case against the iPad,” is a good read on this topic since he takes issue with Apple’s vision of sharing in our web 2.0 world. At this point, I don’t think we see Apple truly embracing the disruptive power of Open Educational Resources. I do acknowledge that Apple is a corporation naturally focused on quarterly profits, just like every other corporation, but as a company it has historically stood for values far bigger than “just” profits. I’d love to see Apple officially embrace technologies which support OER. I’m concerned that most the Apple advocacy I’ve seen in the past year for iTunesU is done because as a company Apple wants everyone to get an iTunes account with a credit card. That was something Steve Jobs mentioned in his presentation this week. That comment was significant, as well as the opening comments about how many billions a year Apple makes. I think Apple stands at an important crossroads when the textbook industry COULD be constructively disrupted, and OER could play a HUGE role in that process. Hopefully this will happen, but I think Apple will need to place emphasis on OER formally and not just promote the iBooks store.
I love your concept of instructional materials not “just” as an eBook but as an interactive app. I’ve been utilizing different tools this semester in my own course to create “learning portals,” and I would love it if every one of my students had a mobile device which could access our “course app.” It’s safe to say many of my students are overwhelmed with all the new tools and “places” to find content that we’re using this semester. I think an app could really focus and simplify this for them. This fall I learned about mobilAP, and would be intrigued to use it or something else like it to build an interactive mobile web app I could use with my classes. I particularly would like/need functionality where RSS feeds could be added to the app. Are you aware of other free tools/platforms like mobilAP, or other reasonably priced software tools which would support his kind of “classroom app building?”
If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes' free newsletter. Check out Wes' video tutorial library, "Playing with Media." Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on wesfryer.com/after.
On this day..
- Picasa Slideshow Link for iPhones: No Flash Required - 2016
- FREE Enhanced eBook for Kids: "Snowflake Gets Lost" by Rachel Fryer - 2012
- Upcoming Wes Fryer Presentations in Oklahoma City (Feb - Mar 2012) - 2012
- iGrill, iRig & Mikey - 2011
- High Definition USB 2.0 Hue Webcam - 2010
- Comments from Drew Edmondson at the 2009 OU K20 MidWinter Conference - 2009
- Notes on Dr. Scott McLeod's follow up session at OU K20 MidWinter - 2009
- Comments from Oklahoma Lt Governor Jari Askins on Oklahoma Education - 2009
- Notes from Dr. Scott McLeod's keynote at the OU K-20 Center's 2009 MidWinter Conference - 2009
- International Education Partnerships: The Need for a Global Perspective - 2009