Thursday, March 22, 2012

Complaints About iBooks

I can agree with numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, and 10. I'm curious, though--how was this information gathered? Supposedly these are teacher complaints about iBooks, but how do we know if teachers were even questioned?

Take this article with as much salt as you'd like, it makes for interesting reading either way.

I've written about iBooks before.


Anonymous said...

I think that eBooks as textbooks (or textbook replacements) for public K-12 are still a number of years off, but this article feels like they were trying to hard too get to the magic number 10.

Item (5), for example, is "iPads can’t hold all the books students need." And then the paragraph goes on to explain how an iPad can hold enough books: pay an extra $100 - $200 to get one with more storage. Okay ... so iPads *can* hold all the books students need.

Item (8) reads "Paid content is often embedded." It goes on to elaborate that "it’s not clear what can be done to prevent this [clicking certain links or downloading content can result in a big bill] from happening." Really? It isn't clear? I would think that simply not having a credit card on account with the iTunes store would do the trick. This is what *I* do. You can still buy things, too! You just prepay your account (I use prepaid cards I purchase at the local supermarket). I leave $10 - $20 in the account for convenience, but it wouldn't be hard to prepay (via a credit card) pretty much exactly what you needed and run no balance (or, at minimum, a balance below $1). Presenting this as a difficult to solve problem feels a lot as if the author doesn't *want* to solve the problem.

These things are going to start in colleges and universities and *private* high schools. They may trickle down after that. And I don't think that they're going to actually improve things much because the real limit right now is most likely student involvement ... the kids have to care enough to work hard. Those that do are doing okay right now. Those that don't, aren't. And I don't expect eBooks to change this.

-Mark Roulo

Joshua Sasmor said...

Darren, I work at a small University outside of Pittsburgh, where we made a splash a few years ago by creating a technology program where _every_ incoming student got a MacBook and an iPad (now an iPad 2). I teach math here, and I cannot STAND the electronic version of my most commonly used textbooks. Stewart's calculus still costs over $100 for an ebook version - and that's for a 6-month rental! You cannot _buy_ a digital copy of the book that you get to keep AT ALL. That's BS. So I would wager students can "acquired" PDF copies from _somewhere_... This is unacceptable. If I am going to BUY a book, I want to OWN it, even if it's just a local copy of the electronic file. There are more problems than just that, but that's a start...