College students: Tablets will replace textbooks by 2017

The Apple iPad still dominates among tablet owners on campus.

Interest in computer tablets has been consistently high on college campuses since the Apple iPad hit the market in April 2010, but not until this year did tablet ownership spike in higher education.

Only 7 percent of college students surveyed in 2011 owned a computer tablet. In 2012, that number has spiked to 25 percent, and students now see their sleek new tablets as the inevitable replacement for their bulky, pricey textbooks.

Six in 10 college students – and seven in 10 high school seniors – believe tablets will replace traditional textbooks within five years, according to findings from the Pearson Foundation’s Second Annual Survey on Students and Tablets, which was made public March 14.…Read More

Apple unveils interactive textbooks, revamped iTunes U

The iBooks 2 app is available for free.

Apple might make the heavy backpack an endangered species.

There won’t be much students can’t do with a few taps and swipes of their Apple iPads after the tech giant’s introduction of iBooks 2–a book store that now includes interactive textbooks–and an iTunes University app that could create a comprehensive school experience inside the popular computer tablet.

Apple officials confirmed Jan. 19 weeklong speculation that the company would jump into the textbook market during a press event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, introduced the next iteration of the iBooks app, which for the first time will offer textbooks that start at $14.99 or less for high school students.…Read More

Apple to enter the digital textbook fray?

Apple's invitation created an instant stir on social media sites.

Education-technology advocates took notice when the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the textbook industry “ripe for destruction” in his official biography. On Jan. 19, school technologists might just see what Jobs had in mind.

A flurry of speculation about Apple’s entry into the digital textbook market swept across Twitter, Facebook, and technology blogs after Apple released an invitation touting an “education announcement at the Big Apple” Wednesday afternoon.

The event will start 10 a.m. on Jan. 19 at New York City’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.…Read More

iPad pilots launching in higher ed this fall

More than 100 OSU students will test the iPad in the fall.
More than 100 Oklahoma State University students will test the iPad in the fall.

Educators say there’s a simple reason they believe the Apple iPad pilot programs coming to colleges and universities this fall will run smoother than previous trials with popular eReaders: the apps.

Sprawling research university campuses and rural community colleges alike will test the iPad in small groups when students return to school in August and September, evaluating how learning can be improved using a device that has proven popular among 20-somethings who were avid about Apple products even before the iPad was released in April.

University IT departments launched pilot programs for eReaders like the Amazon Kindle and Kindle DX in 2008 and 2009, but student and faculty surveys showed that traditional textbooks were preferred over the eReader devices.…Read More

Not everyone ready for the digital textbook revolution

Nine out of 10 students said they would recommend the Kindle as a "personal reading device."
Nine out of 10 Darden School of Business students said they would recommend the Kindle as a "personal reading device," though only 2 of 10 would recommend it for class readings.

Don’t let the iPhones and BlackBerries fool you: Research and a recent pilot program that put eReaders in college students’ hands suggest that most students aren’t ready to read their textbooks electronically, despite the proliferation of internet-ready mobile devices on campuses nationwide.

In fact, 74 percent of students surveyed by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), a nonprofit trade organization representing 3,000 campus retailers, preferred printed textbooks for their college classes.

The study, released May 25, also found that more than half of college students surveyed on 19 campuses said they “were unsure about purchasing digital textbooks or would not consider buying them even if they were available.”…Read More

The top higher-ed tech stories of 2009: No. 1

Amazon's Kindle has the power to transform education.
Does Amazon's Kindle have the power to transform education?

Schools’ use of digital textbooks began before 2009, but it was a watershed year for this emerging trend in higher education: Inspired by the introduction of a Kindle electronic reader designed specifically for textbooks, several colleges and universities announced pilot projects to see how well the technology meets students’ needs.

This fall, at least five colleges and universities began piloting Amazon’s Kindle DX electronic reading device, which is designed specifically for reading textbooks.

The Kindle DX, unveiled during a May 6 press conference at Pace University in New York, sports a 9.7-inch screen, compared to the 6-inch screen on the original Kindle. It also features a built-in QWERTY keyboard for note taking. The handheld reader will let users read magazines, newspapers, and textbooks complete with images and graphics. Users also can read PDF files on the Kindle DX–a selling point for faculty members whose courses regularly assign class readings on PDF files.…Read More

The top higher-ed tech stories of 2009: No. 1

Amazon's Kindle has the power to transform education.
Does Amazon's Kindle have the power to transform education?

Schools’ use of digital textbooks began before 2009, but it was a watershed year for this emerging trend in higher education: Inspired by the introduction of a Kindle electronic reader designed specifically for textbooks, several colleges and universities announced pilot projects to see how well the technology meets students’ needs.

This fall, at least five colleges and universities began piloting Amazon’s Kindle DX electronic reading device, which is designed specifically for reading textbooks.

The Kindle DX, unveiled during a May 6 press conference at Pace University in New York, sports a 9.7-inch screen, compared to the 6-inch screen on the original Kindle. It also features a built-in QWERTY keyboard for note taking. The handheld reader will let users read magazines, newspapers, and textbooks complete with images and graphics. Users also can read PDF files on the Kindle DX–a selling point for faculty members whose courses regularly assign class readings on PDF files.…Read More