January 29, 2010

Apple iPad will change the nursing textbook business

The announcement of Apple's iPad has been widely discussed this week. While it is unclear how successful the iPad will be nurse educators should begin to consider how it may be used in teaching and learning. The iPad is basically a large iPod Touch. With its larger 9.7" diagonal screen it offers much more room for reading.

A shortcoming of the iPod Touch and iPhone for students is difficulty in using them as e-readers. The iPad takes the e-reader concept pioneered by the Amazon Kindle and brings it new Apple shine. Full color, high-resolution, and even a three-dimensional look to pages make the iPad the first device that could replace a paper textbook. Students who have all their text in the iPad can have their whole library with them, but without the sore back from carrying large texts.

I quizzed my clinical group about their interest in have such as device to carry their books. Nearly all of them thought it would be great. They want books that have highlighting, bookmarking, and automatic updating. They tell me that they often have to drag their books to quiet places to study and would welcome something so portable.

So for nurse educators, we need to keep talking with publishers about their plans for a digital version of their textbooks. A big advantage for publisher is that they can inexpensively distribute evaluation copies of their texts. Nursing departments should invest in a least one iPad and test it out as books become available.


deepak said...
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Misa-Chan said...

I would love to have books on such a device, but it quite unlikely to happen, since many of the businesses that write these books make a profit of 1000% more than they would by making these books digital. After all, its not like they're just gonna hand to books to us, they're greedy people.

Brent Thompson, PhD, RN said...

The only savings by the publisher is on the physical cost of delivering a paper text (probably around 10% of the costs). They still have to pay many people to develop the book. Plus, with the iBook they would give commission to Apple. One other benefit to publishers is that there would be no used book sales eating into new book sales. The digital rights management prevents the sharing of the file.

I never expected, or want, "books to be handed to us". The additional cost to a student would be for the iPad, but the advantages of carrying your entire library in an easy to use form may make it worthwhile.

rdjfraser said...

I'm a bit fan of the iPad, I just got mine and really love the different it makes. I would highly recommend educators and students consider how it might be useful. It is a bit expensive, but I have been able to dramatically reduce printing and I ACTUALLY read research papers and news on the subway.
- Rob

Thirty's thoughts said...

Do you recommend any applications for patient education? pre-op, new dx, etc.?

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