Magazine article Technology & Learning

Put to the Test: iBook2 Textbooks

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Put to the Test: iBook2 Textbooks

Article excerpt

The launch of Apple's iBook2 last January met with great fanfare, along with some grumblings from the blogosphere. Apple's partnership with big textbook publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson means that many popular textbooks are now available in digital versions for the iPad.

The Upside: Because the textbooks can be purchased through iTunes, downloading titles is very simple. This reviewer evaluated the Miller & Levine Biology textbook and McGraw-Hill's Physics textbook. Both digital textbooks were colorful and inviting, embedding media tools like video, additional photography, and "self-check" quizzes that let students answer questions to test their comprehension.

Each iBook utilizes the swipe and pinch touch technology with which iPad users are familiar. Tools such as notes and highlighting are simple and intuitive. Students can use the notes tool to make their own study cards that can be linked to specific textbook content. Charts and graphs pop up rather than clutter a printed page.

The Downside: The iBook2 textbook is just that: a digital textbook for the iPad. The iBook cannot be read on other devices, not even other Apple devices. The digital presentation is clean and engaging. …

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