Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

Summary: Apple's iBooks 2 announcement with Textbooks could revolutionize the textbook market. Now, we just need to see textbook publishers jump on board and save the backs of our children.

SHARE:

I was watching the live coverage of the Apple education event and the first thing that I thought after seeing the iBooks 2 with Textbooks announcement (The Verge) was that Apple may have just saved people money and pain caused by heavy backpacks while also generating more excitement for education.

When I was a kid in high school, we had lockers to store our books in between classes and I just took a book or two to class. That isn't the case for many schools today where kids have to carry all of their books in a backpack throughout the day. I have three daughters in public school and they are only given 5 minutes between classes so it is physically impossible to get to a remote locker and then to class so the school forces them to carry backpacks weighing 10 to 30 pounds. I have serious concerns about the long term implications of carrying such weight each and every day as kids' bodies are growing and developing.

My daughters use my iPad from time to time, but if Apple can truly get textbook publishers to make iPad versions then I have no problem spending the money to get them iPads for school usage. The ability to experience advanced interactions with your textbook is also a very attractive prospect and should help those who are not that enthusiastic about school. Thankfully, my girls love school and I see the use of iPads as a natural progression of technology while enhancing the learning experience.

As an engineer, I regularly paid $400+ each semester for books, many of them were used, and while using an iPad for textbooks may seem expensive we may find the total lifecycle cost is less. I think the key to success here is textbook publishers joining the Apple initiative. Apple did announce that the iBooks Authoring tool is available for free so they are making it easy to get textbooks into the iBooks 2 format.

Topics: Health, Apple, CXO, iPad, Legal, Mobility, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

31 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • stupid reasons to justify throwing $$$ at apple!

    I haven't heard of kids learning from 30 lbs of books a day yet.
    But I've heard of kids playing games or wasting time on 'social media' or 'cool sites' with their devices rather than learning.
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @The Linux Geek

      You obviously don't have a kid in public school.
      msalzberg
      • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

        @msalzberg The problem is that the kids who would need the most help are the ones who can't afford a $400 e-book reader. And I for one would not appreciate being FORCED to buy an iPad to get my textbooks. Nor would I be willing to give Apple pretty much full veto control over my ability to publish that textbook anywhere else. (See the article with the iBooks Author EULA to see how that could come about.)
        brcowan@...
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @The Linux Geek Perhaps you were homeschooled - that would account for your lack of ability to interact with people. Or you don't have kids. I went to public schools and I have a daughter who is now in college and yes she did have to carry 30+ pounds worth of books, notebooks, and supplies to classes that were spread out across the various schools she was in. The weight is indeed a legitimate concern.

      Perhaps - and much more likely - you are upset because this is something Apple is doing that is good, that this is something that Google/FOSS did not come up with, and something that SJVN has not given you your opinion on yet so you are going with the typical "I hate everything Apple does" mantra until he gives you instructions.
      athynz
  • What happens when the iPad breaks?

    It's not like when you drop a book or bqackpack, all the text books break.

    What do you do if the iPad quits working for whatever reason? Do they give you a pass on your homework assignment and everything?
    William Farrel
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @William Farrel Otterbox Defender for those kids in college - who typically take better care of electronics as opposed to younger kids. For kids in primary and secondary schools more than likely the schools will provide the iPads (like they do laptops currently) via a deal with Apple that includes repair/ replacement options - the students (or rather their parents) have to pay an up front insurance fee each school year. And in the event of a non functional device then there are still physical books to use.
      athynz
      • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        And all parents will be just happy paying up front insurance fee yearly? What if the school has no budget to provide said laptops? A lot of assumptions there.

        How do you help lower income students, do we just forget them or you kosher with higher taxes so they get to play too? What if my kids go to private school, do I get a tax break?

        I'm all for technology but at the moment there are questions that need to be answered and I would like to see a joint open effort for digital textbooks for ALL devices to use vs. creating yet another revenue stream for Apple and their products alone.
        MobileAdmin
  • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

    Apple is trying to put the book cover industry out of business!
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @Loverock Davidson-

      I thought you were a proponent of the belief that competition is good in business. Or - maybe I was wrong about your beliefs.
      kenosha77a
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @Loverock Davidson- [b][i][u]GOOD FOR THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/u][/i][/b] The textbook publishers are the biggest rip off artists since Bernie Madoff. As I see it one can either spend $500+ each semester (for college students: $1,000/yr, $4,000/4 year program) or spend $600 for a 64 GB WiFi iPad and $14.99 per book (around $75/ semester, $150/yr, $600/4 year program) for a total of $1,200. Yeah I'd much rather save that $2,800 for other things AND have all the textbooks to refer to for like if needed AND have a decent tablet that does a lot of other things than just display textbooks - and ALL under 2 pounds.
      athynz
      • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

        @Pete "athynz" Athens
        But think of the book cover industry. With these digital books kids will no longer be able to draw and decorate the book covers anymore.
        Loverock Davidson-
      • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        Yes but let one company that manufactures their products in China control the education system by monopolozing both the devices used and the content and they can charge whatever they want for both.
        Orlbuckeye76
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @Loverock Davidson- Not with the current licensing they won't. I can't see too many textbook publishers wanting to have to ask Apples permission to publish.
      Bluez73
  • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

    Won't work!
    Ipads break!
    End of Revolution.
    SHAMKEN@...
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @SHAMKEN@... This has got to be the dumbest post on this talkback - and that's saying something considering Linux Geek also posted his usual Apple Hater drivel here. So as to why I say this is the dumbest post:[b]

      Won't work![/b]

      So an iPad [i]cannot[/i] display textbooks? Really? Have you been living in a cave somewhere? But amuse me, tell me why this won't work.[b]

      Ipads break![/b]

      Books catch on fire, books can be lost, get wet, etc. HOWEVER the books on an iPad can be redownloaded and the iPad replaced - and if insured (which is another issue) one has to pay full price for one and will STILL be ahead of the game financially. Next.[b]

      End of Revolution.[/b]

      Let me guess - you work for the publishers who have ripped off college kids and schools for years, are one of those people who approve the constant textbook changes in return for some pretty sweet kickbacks from the publishers, or just hate Apple.
      athynz
      • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

        @Pete "athynz" Athens <br><br>"So an iPad cannot display textbooks? Really? Have you been living in a cave somewhere? But amuse me, tell me why this won't work."<br><br>The current iPad has 1024x768. The cheapest second-hand textbook is 10000x10000. Too big a gap to cover despite the forgiveness mark-up caused by a new toy.

        It it could, the PC (1024x768 was 2001 vintage) would have killed books long time ago.
        kingkong88@...
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      The focus on cost is a red herring. Most of the current cost involved in today's textbooks is not the cost of printing but rather the fees to authors, reviewers, typesetters, copy editors, etc. (For a textbook selling for $100, the actual printing cost is less than 7%). These costs will remain the same whether the book is digital or paper.

      The advantage for digital books is three-fold: Ease of updating; lightweight (carrying textbooks is a problem for students today); incorporation of multimedia (digital books can show many more images, can utilize video, etc.).

      The disadvantage to Apple dominating the ecosystem is they are a closed environment. If a more open format is used to produce the digital books, then the user can decide which device is best suited for their needs. Even Amazon, which also is a closed ecosystem, recognizes this and allows Kindle books to be read on almost any device.
      scottmelnick
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @SHAMKEN@...

      Also
      1. Can't just go to store to buy a new battery. Apple must replace.
      2. Depenedent on connectivity so At&t, Sprint, Verizon and T-mobile could creat monthly data charges.
      3. One company controlling the industry.
      Orlbuckeye76
  • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

    No one has even mentioned the environmental (saving) impact of not printing all those books that most of us throw in a box at the end of the semester or donate to the Library. Also, iPads/iBooks are going to break but if you can afford the cost of all those books every semester you can afford to replace it. Its technology people - move forward! Would you write your term paper on a notepad?!?
    dlwhitester
    • RE: Apple iBooks 2 with Textbooks may reduce back pain and improve student health

      @dlwhitester

      I'm sure Apple would just stop making their devices in China and build factories here to hire all the displaced workers libraries and textbook manufacturing companies across the USA. Books will never go away.
      Orlbuckeye76