Textbooks face competition from iPad and tablet-based versions


“There’s nothing textbook about them.”

That is the tagline Apple gave when it announced textbooks will be available for the iPad through iBooks, creating an easier way to store and carry all the textbooks a student needs.

The announcement was made in a news statement given Jan. 19 by Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller.

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet,” Schiller said in a news statement. “With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the U.S. and around the world.”

The publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill Education and Pearson make up more than 90 percent of textbooks for grades K-12. With some books already out, they are currently creating more and are striving to make every textbook available in iBooks.

Kyle Ohlwiler, from Lake Forest, Calif., studying recreational management, owns an iPad and uses it in classes rather than taking his computer to campus every day. As a user, he enjoys using his iPad because it is easy to store everything he needs in one place.

“I think it’s definitely more of a convenience, plus it would be a lot cheaper,” Ohlwiler said. “You can basically have an all-in-one book pad. There’s a lot of little pluses that would eventually come from it that you wouldn’t expect right off the bat.”

Apple markets its new product as more than the average textbook experience, with interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photographs. These features are meant to help students get a more hands-on learning experience, and correlate to them retaining the information better.

Daniel Henley, an Alpine native studying chemical engineering, is an iPad owner who is wary of buying all textbooks through iBooks. Henley said he usually waits to update his technology until he absolutely needs it or it is cheaper.

“I’m a book lover; I love having a physical book,” Henley said. “The textbook love doesn’t extend quite as much as other books but I still like having the physical book.”

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