Friday, January 20, 2012

Apple's new partnership . . .

Like many people I’m out of power at home so I didn’t get a chance to follow-up last night on Apple’s announcement shared in this Education Week piece.  It is not the hit to traditional publishers that some expected and that I was hoping for.  Apple has entered a partnership with three major K-12 textbook publishers—McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—to offer interactive textbooks through its iBooks store at $14.99 or less. 
With textbooks selling for upwards of $100 that sounds like a pretty good idea until we learn that it is $14.99 each year and you must have an ipad to access the content.  Sound like a good idea for all concerned, Apple will get 30% and the three textbook publishers the rest.  I don't see it resulting in significant savings to districts.  It does, however, allow for content delivery not possible with a textbook and more importantly the capacity to annually update content instead of on the current five year cycle.
The textbooks feature multimedia elements, including video, three-dimensional graphics, and photo galleries. They also allow students to highlight text to create flashcards and search within a glossary.
It leaves us with interesting questions to ponder as we look to the future.
I hope you are keeping warm and safe during this difficult weather period.  I'll share some of my travails at a later time.  For now, lets pray that the thaw doesn't cause significant flooding and that power is restored as soon as possible. We need power to open schools and the latest news is that some customers might not be back on line until Monday.  That usually means places like my home in Ravensdale and our Junior High.

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