Music, mobile phones and tablet computers aren’t the only industries Apple planned on revolutionizing. They’re about to try their hand at education, and from the looks of things, it’s going to be huge.
Yesterday, Apple announced iBooks 2 and iTunes U; two new apps aimed squarely at eliminating the financial burden and environmental impact of the educational textbook industry. Students truly benefit from features such as Study Cards, Thumbnail Index, Built-In Videos and a Custom Glossary, among many others. It’s a breakthrough for technology and opens the possibilities for learning to an entirely new world, once only dreamed of. University students will be able to literally save hundreds of dollars and have myriad more ways to learn. It’s an exciting time for the education sector.
But, there is one caveat: the price.
While the apps themselves are free, the platforms, clearly, are not. The gatekeeper of that innovative software is the iPad; not a cheap item when provided en mass for an entire school district, or college students for example. The “revolutionary” factor for these apps is wholly based off of an assumed notion that that very gatekeeper (iPad) is financially within reach. And at a time when funding for schools is being siphoned off at an alarming rate, that means the full realization of iBooks 2 and iTunes U may not be happening anytime in the near future.
It feels a bit like a dangling carrot, but fret not. If anything, this adversity may inspire a solution to these funding problems for school systems worldwide. There are too many benefits to allow this idea to sink. Because the thought of a room of students traveling the globe visually, while staying firmly placed in their chairs, is something we definitely can get behind.
Here’s to the future of education!
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