Posted tagged ‘Apple iPad’

Replacing paper with iPads

September 2, 2011

I have mentioned this phenomenon before, but here is another instance of a university handing students a pre-loaded Apple iPad for a degree programme. The institution in question is Rutgers University, the premier university in New Jersey; and it is handing out the iPad to students on some of its MBA courses. Given the high volume of hand-outs and other materials on such courses, the iPad reduces the use of paper very substantially (and therefore is not as big a net cost as might be imagined); and it is also a highly usable piece of learning technology.

This may be the future of higher education. The iPad (and, I imagine, other similar devices by other manufacturers) is certainly capable of being adapted to interesting learning uses, inside and outside the classroom. At any rate it seems to me that the era of the class ‘hand-out’ should be over; there is no justification any more for printing thousands of pages of course materials. The paperless university programme should soon be upon us.

More and more ebook readers

August 1, 2010

The ambiguity in the title of this post is deliberate: only just over two years since the first generation of the Amazon Kindle went on sale in the United States (only), ebook devices have become more and more popular, and people who favour this particular form of reading have become more and more numerous. For those who are serious about ebooks, the choice is now between the Kindle itself (now about to go into the third generation),┬áthe Sony Reader, the iLiad, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and of course the Apple iPad (though this is more than an ebook reader). In addition, the associated ebook stores of some of these devices also offer software (‘apps’) that simulate the devices on the iPad: so for example, as an iPad owner you can download the Kindle app and then use the iPad as a Kindle, including the facility for direct downloads of Amazon Kindle ebooks.

So now the question is beginning to arise as to whether ebooks will become the standard format for reading, and what impact this will have on paper or hard copy versions. I don’t know if I am at all typical, but right now I am purchasing and reading lots of ebooks; if on reading a book I feel that I may want to read it again I buy the paper version as well. I don’t think that bookshelves will disappear; but it is possible that sales will decline for a while before becoming stable at a lower figure.