Friday, January 20, 2012

Will iBooks 2 Replace Our Conventional Textbooks?

Just this morning, I saw in the news about Apple's launch of iBooks 2. This app is available to iOS devices and will allow users to read textbooks interactively. The part that awed me the most is the visual aids found in the e-books. The pictures and diagrams could be brought to life just by tapping on them. Dragging a picture allows users to see the different angles of the object. Readers could gain much more understanding with the subject matter through the embedded videos laid across the e-books. These are the features I find to be lacking in our traditional textbooks. 2D diagrams aren't enough to illustrate a concept as abstract as those in chemistry.

However, it was kind of a little disturbing the way Apple introduces the iBooks 2 as a step to revolutionize education. While it's not yet clearly stated as to in what way they wish to revolutionize education, but still it got me worrisome. Would the tablets gradually replace our hardbound and paperback books? I can't imagine the complete eradication of our reliable textbooks to replace the electronic ones. More so, how could you inject a tablet into the student's study routine? With the wifi capabilities, and the enourmous number of apps that can be downloaded, who wouldn't find it tempting to simply play rather than study? Also, although the screen display of the Apple devices are excellent, but it could strain the eyes over long time. iBooks is a great way to supplement a student's learning experience. Heck, I learned all the difficult-to-grasp concepts in my science class through the interactive encyclopedias installed in my computer (during the time when tablets haven't been invented yet). Using e-Books instead of conventional books could indeed save the trees, but still, the Apple devices aren't really dedicated study devices. I see Amazon Kindle as the better replacement to books.

For more information, here's an article from CNET on iBooks 2 features: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57362293-12/ibooks-2-brings-textbooks-to-life-hands-on/?ttag=fbw

What are your thoughts? Share them on the comment box below.