Is Apple Set to Revolutionize the Textbook Industry? CNBC

Is Apple Set to Revolutionize the Textbook Industry?

The textbook industry has been waiting for its big digital revolution but so far, it’s been slow going. Apple may be aiming to change that with an announcement that the company has planned for Thursday in New York City. It’s amazing to think that in this digital age, students still start the school year with 10 year-old textbooks with “I love Mike” doodled in the inside cover. Why has the technology been so slow to catch up and how can this finally be changed? The word is that Apple is planning to sell textbooks through its iBooks store directly from textbook publishers such as McGraw-Hill . Apple could also be aiming to integrate those book sales with course material currently offered on iTunes U, Apple’s education portal which allows schools and universities to distribute lesson plans, lab films, and audiobooks through Apple’s free software. In Steve Jobs’ recently-published biography, author Walter Isaacson writes that the textbook industry was one Jobs desperately wanted to change. He had visions of the textbook as a live, document that would include videos, live Web-based text, and other interactive elements. If Apple has achieved this, it could change not only the way textbooks are created, but consumer-aimed literature as well. Digitizing educational material is not a new concept to the publishing industry. They’ve been at it for years with very little success.
Students don’t seem to like the Kindle or other eReaders for te[tbooks because there are so many limitations where students need flexibility: annotation, note taking, highlighting, quick cross referencing, etc. There are apps that allow you to organize your educational life but they don’t integrate with current electronic coursework. And Ama]on does save bookmarks and highlights of your eBooks in the cloud but they are not easy to find, share, and interact with and they don’t integrate with other course material.
If Apple aims to sell truly interactive textbooks through iBooks, it could mean a big boost for the iBooks store, which does not sell anywhere near the volume of digital books that Amazon does through the Kindle store. This could equate to big bucks when you consider how expensive textbooks are in comparison to pop novels. Not to mention that Apple takes a 30 percent cut of every book that is sold through the iBooks store, an industry standard.
Does this mean that all students will get iPads in order to take advantage of Apple’s education plan? Probably not very realistic, although don’t rule it out forever. iPad distribution programs in public schools are being tested in every state in the country. For now, Apple could launch a new textbook and publishing initiative which allows students to access books and other supplementary course material through its free iTunes software, as well as through iPad and other iOS devices for those who have them.
There has also been talk of Apple making a self-publishing tool for interactive textbooks ² like an iMovie for books. I’m less convinced on this one. Why would Apple make an announcement that would compete with publishing companies in New York City, the heart of the publishing industry? My guess is that book publishers are on board with this one and crossing their fingers that it is the digital revolution that they have been waiting for. After all, digital textbooks could mean yearly subscription revenues. Those old “I love Mike” textbooks only make them money about once a decade.


campaign to watch: digs for water. « charity: water blog

campaign to watch: digs for water. « charity: water blog.

A cluttered closet was a red flag for Natalia — she had too much stuff, knowing that others in the world live without the basics. But instead of dropping off her extra “digs” at a thrift store, she decided to turn them into clean water. We caught up with Natalia to find out more about her campaign:

What’s the story behind your idea? I’ve always had a sort of addiction to clothes. Shoe shopping cheers me up when I’m down and I almost always buy one, if not two pairs! When I find a pair of jeans I really like, I’ll buy the same pair in two different washes.

But as I was putting laundry away the other night, I was staring at my closet thinking what a luxury it is to have all of these great clothes (or “digs”, as the name of my campaign implies). I don’t NEED all of these clothes. I buy shoes when I’m sad, for crying out loud. Meanwhile, there are entire families crying because a child is sick and may even die from not having clean water.

I’ve started this campaign to do my part and help make this place we call home a better place for those who can’t help themselves. I’m going to raise $500 to build clean water projects…


from the field: We hit water in Moale! July 21st, 2011

You may have followed our Live Drill during last year’s September Campaign. On charity: water’s fourth anniversary, we tried to drill for clean water in a remote village called Moale, deep in the forest of Central African Republic.

We did not hit water.

But we did promise Moale we’d be back.

Yesterday, we drilled in Moale again… and this time… watch the video!

We promised we’d be back. from charity: water on Vimeo.

U.S. girls sweep Google kids science fair | MNN – Mother Nature Network

U.S. girls sweep Google kids science fair | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

Three U.S. girls won the top prizes in a global science fair launched by Google for their projects on ovarian cancer, grilled chicken and indoor air quality, the Internet giant announced Tuesday.

The grand prize winner was Shree Bose, who entered in the 17-18 age group and won a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands with aNational Geographic Explorer and an internship at theEuropean Organization for Nuclear Research.

“Shree discovered a way to improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs,” said a Google blog post about the winners.

The other two top winners were Lauren Hodge in the 13-14 age group and Naomi Shah in the 15-16 age group.

CNN TV and Web Special on Innovation (via Global Public Square)

CNN TV and Web Special on Innovation

Editor’s Note: The “Global Innovation Showcase” is a special feature created by the New America Foundation, a non-partisan, future-oriented think tank based in Washington DC, and the Global Public Square. Tune in tonight at 8pm ET/PT for a special edition of CNN GPS, “Restoring the American Dream: How to Innovate.” By Fareed Zakaria, CNN On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching a tiny satellite, about the size of a beac … Read More

via Global Public Square