Empirical research finds text on an iPad has a 0.2 greater effect size than text in a book

Is a somnambulistic textbook uploaded to an iPad more engaging?

Is a didactic lecture uploaded to iTunesU more interactive?

If Microsoft gave exactly the same presentation would you be as excited?

I am amazed at the number of self-proclaimed “21st Century” educators who are suddenly singing for joy at what they have previously deconstructed as epitome of a 19th Century education (lectures and textbooks) just because it’s by Apple?

Is this creating a 2 teir education system? How many schools/students can really afford an iPad, a Mac Book (iBook Author is Mac only) and the books/apps? The real winner is the textbook companies not only have they circumvented the bulk/discount purchasing power of schools and gone direct to the student. But the real irony is they now have 21st Century educators doing their marketing for them direct to their customers.

Tell me iBook2 can be read in a HTML5 browser and iBooks Author is device agnostic then I’ll get a little bit excited. Don’t forget the open web built on HTML5 was a dream of Steve Jobs. I guess it got forgotten in the profit seeking of Apple and Pearsons?

I wonder how many followed a tweet of this blog post title here and now feel deflated that it isn’t empirical research and didn’t validate their hopes and dreams? I was going to call it “Would iTurd2 smell prettier than Turd” but didn’t think I’d get as many readers!

If you think this is a win for students or education please think before you tweet, this is a win for Apple & Pearsons and a massive loss for students, education, developing nations, low socio-economic communities and open education.

5 thoughts on “Empirical research finds text on an iPad has a 0.2 greater effect size than text in a book

  1. I always love your ability not to be carried along with the mob Ben and to maintain your independence of thought. The tendency for many is to jump on the nearest bandwaggon in an attempt to curry favour and gain some kind of proxy identity:) I hate this.
    Apple are indeed very keen on exclusion in general and are primarily interested in the $$s here.
    They are a business first and foremost and we should not forget that.

  2. Hello Ben,

    Just downloaded iBooks Author. I find it difficult to believe that you are not excited by the prospect of this tool which allows one to create their own textbooks, including students. Or, is it the case you buy into this tool, as ‘closed’ as it might be.

    I agree with the sentiment about bad lectures or textbooks made electronic are still bad. However, I think you are enjoying being contrarian here ;)

    You refer to the iPhone as the ‘iPony’ and have been very skeptical about the hype around Apple for a long time.

    Two-tiered systems were not invented by Apple. They are a successful company doing something positive, often transformational and consumers are rewarding them.

    For most, the iPod, iPad, Macbook and iPhone are great tools. Yes, there are issues but sheesh, Apple does have the runs on the board.

    @Darcy1968 :)

  3. iBooks2 and iBooks Author is another piece of innovation lead by Apple. While it is easy to argue against Apple (or Microsoft or Amazon for that matter in a commercial/market/ dissection debate) I also like to look beyond those constraints and focus on the future directions and possiblities for learning. This is not hype – this is change! This year your students or your teachers have a great new tool at their disposal. It will take time to completely become the norm – but that it is the new way of publishing is really a given! What happened to music is now also happening to books and text via ebooks, iBooks and now iBooks2. Nothing phoney about this at all.

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