Well, Apple has announced support for electronic textbooks, legitimizing this embryonic business. iBooks Author is a free software app for Mac’s that will help authors create and publish their own e-textbooks. They’re also broadening iTunes U by adding apps that allow professors to create full online courses with assignments, books, quizzes, and syllabi. And Apple is now extending this to K-12. They say that these will have lots of video embedded into the textbooks to make learning more interesting, and to differentiate the e-book stuff from traditional textbooks. Books are expected to be priced at $14.99 or less.
What does this mean to you if you’re the IT Director at any K-12? Two things. The pricing that means massive savings to schools systems will make your curriculum director afire to implement this. It also means that great changes are in store for your networks, as they’ll now have to support lots of full-motion video in high density situations. Prepare for this pretty radical change. As soon as you get wind of the rapturous discussions about saving a lot of money on textbooks make sure that they know to divert some of that savings to your networks, because you’re going to need it. Honest Injun.