3 responses to “Apple unveils iBooks Author”

  1. I understand apple’s move into this market but I would be worried as a parent (which I am not) if the educations of my children is hooked up to a device which is market driven. There are several educational companies that drive up the price of education, in my opinion we should not increase that number.

    I am curious what you take is on this?

  2. aaron says:

    I am more worried as it is right now about the fact that the books that end up in schools (at least in the US) have content that is highly politics driven. For instance, in Texas, there’s a lot of pressure to de-emphasize the theory of evolution in science textbooks. It worries me that my (potential) children would end up with a worse education because nobody’s willing to write good textbooks because they want to appeal to a sizable education market in Texas.

    With that in mind, having an iPad as your textbook medium democratizes that to some extent. It’s very easy to deploy new books to it, whether they’re iBooks or web based books. I also think that given that it costs virtually nothing to make an eBook, the decreased barriers to entry will result in cheaper electronic textbooks and in the long run we will see a net savings while at the same time give children access to better, more rich content simply because a book can’t deliver multimedia or interactivity like an iPad can.

    Although in some states we spend a significant amount on education (California spends about half their budget on it) schools always seem to be struggling, and this money never seems to be going into making teachers’ salaries competitive. Public education is one of the best strategic investments a government can make, and the political rhetoric in the US as of late doesn’t value it.

  3. That is a worrying development! Not that the evolution theory is complete solid but scientifically its the best we’ve got.

    Concerning the cost, I don’t think it will lower significantly, we thought the same when Amazon came out with the kindle however the price per e-book is still rather steep considering all of the inventory and shipping costs are eliminated.

    Price elasticity due to innovation is in my view negatively correlated to the amount of institutions which the innovation effects. The more Institutions it effects the lower the price decrease. Education has a considerable amount of institutions connected to it (at least in Europe and after seeing ‘waiting for superman’ I expect US to be no different). Big educational publishing institutions will want to hold on to their power as long as possible.Which means charging premium as much as possible.

    coming back to the post on ‘cognitive dissonance’, because Apple is now becoming a ‘properly’ established company where market share and stock values will have more and more influence, I remain sceptical if Apple can hold its cultural integrity, no corporate company has ever been able to maintain that and I don’t think Apple can buck the trend. Which means that education will become even more inflexible if it introduces the Apple’s Ibook author into its fold.

    My interest to Apple’s move into textbooks was sparked due to a recent announcement in Amsterdam (my home town) that we are going to launch the ‘Steve Jobs primary school’ starting from 2013, the initiative has the backing of the city. I will post on this later this week, but the opinions on the Dutch educational websites is very mixed.

    Reading your comments I assume you think that this educational system mostly revolving around I pad’s and Piaget’s ideas on child intelligence is an interesting and maybe even a good idea? All the information is unfortunately in Dutch at the moment. I think its a good marketing move but I don’t belief it’s a good to centre you educational ICT on an organisation that is corporately driven.

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