Apple's New iBooks 2 App Changes Everything

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Imagine a school with no textbooks. In this day and age, students of all ages are beginning to use modern technology like tablet computers instead of paper books.

In fact, a recent study even found that 20 percent more students scored better on tests they took on a tablet compared to old fashioned paper and pencil.

In Derby, the public schools are getting closer to having an iPad for every student.

"It's kind of that jump we've been waiting for," said Derby Public Schools IT Director Drew Lane. "It's going to make digital textbooks a lot more accessible on a lot more devices for us."

Lane is talking about Apple's new educational app called iBooks2. The product launched last week.

"These are textbooks that can update frequently, automatically," Lane explained. "They're less expensive to purchase than the paper bound and they're engaging. Students enjoy these devices."

"It's so much lighter and so much easier to use," said 5th grader Hannah Meyer. "Instead of using the big textbooks, you can just go onto iTunes and you can listen to them and look through the book with the pictures."

Lane believes old fashioned textbooks in schools will eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

"One of the challenges of a textbook is how to get the kids to read it. These types of textbooks, we think they'd be willing to read," Lane said.

"You don't have to go searching through the library for books," said Koyie Duft, another 5th grader. "You can just find them right here on your iPad."

The Derby school district currently has more than 1,400 iPads in use by students. Where many districts rolled them out for high schoolers, Derby did the opposite and gave them out to 5th graders in hopes of continuing to buy more. The kids would then continue with them as they grow.

"Just a great piece of equipment that we use for everything," Duft said.

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