Recently, iPad textbook startup Inkling received financial backing from McGraw-Hill and Pearson-- two of the largest names in the world of textbook publishing. Inkling is producing “textbooks. Now featuring features.” How does this affect you? I’m glad you asked.
It always seems futile to start on this note, but I see no other choice. When the iPad launched, some of my friends and colleagues were among the naysayers, and I had very serious (and animated) discussions with them about the future uses and success of the iPad. Here we are at the beginning of a new age of technology. Right now, the book is commonplace. But why carry a backpack full of textbooks and notebooks when you can carry an iPad in a thin sleeve, slung over your shoulder?
Imagine not having to start the day carrying five textbooks in a backpack, along with all your notes, to class -- which, in actuality, is only part of your library of books that you need for the semester -- and then realizing that you forgot it was Tuesday and you don’t have psychology on Tuesdays! Now you are stuck carrying around the wrong books in your bag for the whole day and missing a bunch of information that you know is going to be on the exam. The day is soon approaching when you will be carrying your iPad containing your entire library of books and then-some, along with all the cross-referencing material you could want.
The fact that your iPad will carry the books you need is only the beginning. Not only will you be able carry all of your books on the iPad, the books that it contains will be far more content-rich than any current textbooks. Matt MacInnis, the founder and chief executive of Inkling, sees the existing textbook as a skeleton and aims at “casting off the shackles of the book.” They want to add multimedia and interactive technology that could only exist within the world of the iPad. This will present a far more effective medium for containing and presenting information that the textbooks we have used for so long. As read on MobileBeat.com, the technology is ripe for the picking and the publishers are starting to sense the change.
Currently on Inkling.com they show 55 titles and growing. But with the backing of McGraw-Hill and Pearson, and the partnerships of John Wiley & Sons, W.W. Norton, and Wolter Kluwer, MacInnis stated that they now have access to “95 percent of the content universe.” According to MacInnis, the 55 titles that they currently carry on Inkling will be up to 100 by the fall.
So are you ready? The technology wave is swelling and I think it’s time to grab your board and wax up.