By Heather Campbell
“Yesterday was their big announcement, and we were lucky enough to be apart of it,” he commented.
Mr. Lehmann attended the unveiling in New York. A quote of his from the video was also featured on a wall of the museum.
“That was amazing. It was at the Guggenheim museum, that’s an amazing thing to see your words in one of the most prestigious museums in the country,” Lehman stated. “That’s profoundly humbling and amazing.”
This new advertisement comes after Apple filmed a longer segment about computer use at the school last year.
Due to confidentiality reasons, Apple could not tell Mr. Lehmann and Mr. Best what they were filming for, or what product they were promoting.
“It was all secretive,” Mr. Best explained. “They were asking us questions, like theoretical questions, about textbooks.”
Now that they know what they were being filmed for, they feel honored to be apart of it.
Essentially, the iBook textbooks will eliminate the use of traditional textbooks and introduce interactive learning on the iPad.
“As a publishing tool it can change the way kids publish information. I think that’s always powerful. I think as a content consumption tool, I think it modernises the textbook,” explains Mr. Lehmann.
The iBook textbooks will allow teachers and students to create their own textbooks and resources and then share them with others. The application will feature interactive diagrams, photos, and videos; a highlighting and note taking tool with study cards; and a publishing program.
“It’s really sleek and really slick and has some unbelievable potential to change the way people both consume and create sort of traditional textbook information.” comments Mr. Lehmann.
However, not everyone is sure that iiBook Textbooks will make a large or positive change.
“They’re still textbooks,” pointed out Mr. Best, “They are a little more engaging and interactive but I don’t know. Since we already have laptops we don’t need to go this route.”
Although the Science Leadership Academy already incorporates the use of Apple’s MacBooks into their learning, certain features of the new iPad software do appeal to both Mr. Lehmann and Mr. Best.
“Every student at SLA could use iBook author,” Mr Lehmann theorized. “And as part of their senior exit interview they could create an ePortfolio, eText of their best work over four years and put that all electrically bound into a portfolio.”
Mr. Best commented that he would like to get a class set for playing around with to see what his class can do with them. But in a school that already has laptops, Mr. Best was unsure of the role the iBook Textbooks would play here.
While Mr. Lehmann has no intention on switching over to iPads from MacBooks, in the event that MacBooks cannot be funded, switching over to iPads would not necessarily pose as a disadvantage. For now, however, iBooks will not play a role at SLA.
John C says
A well written article and kudos to Chris and his team at SLA. This is another example of SLA being at the forefront of progressive teaching.