If you have a child entering grade school within the next 5 years, there’s a good chance they will have the same reaction to the word “textbook” as today’s 18 year olds have to the phrase “CD player”. The paper based (over-priced) textbook and education in general as we know it are forever changing. Apple’s recent announcement of the iBooks 2 app, iBooks Author and iTunes U is the tipping point for this new era.
One of the main benefits of Apple’s new education platform (death to the $200 textbook aside) is the ability to offer a more immersive and engaging experience to students which will without a doubt increase learning, interest and engagement.
Thanks to partnerships with major publishers (initially Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), students will soon have a “textbook” in the form of an iPad app.
The iBooks 2 app will include functionality to display interactive elements on every page and the option to watch videos, animations and actually play with interactive 3D models. The new generation of “textbooks” will cater to all learning styles whether it be through reading, watching or interaction – the possibilities are endless. So, why is this important to us as a digital agency and products company? Because Apple is validating our company’s vision to provide tools to positively impact education.
The foundation for Sneezebox was in higher education under the belief that colleges fail when trying to connect with prospective and current students. In the recruiting and enrollment process, colleges tend to forget that each student is an individual with unique interests, needs and emotions. “One-size fits all” does not work. Using interactive and relevant video, smarter communications, personalization and analytics (all part of the Sneezebox for Education platform), schools now have the ability to communicate in a way that will resonate with each and every prospective or current student.
Apple’s announcement is the beginning in a long overdue shift where technology and education truly converge. Not only is this exciting, this is additional validation for the need of cutting edge technology in all aspects of the student lifecycle. Thanks Apple! We’ll help fill the seats, you help educate (entertain, etc…) them.