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Education Handhelds Apple

Students At Lynn University Get iPad Minis Instead of Textbooks 192 192

Dave_Minsky writes "About 600 students will enter Lynn University's freshman class this year, the largest since 2007, and they will all be using iPad Minis instead of textbooks. The iPads will cost $475, saving students up to 50% of what a semester's worth of textbooks would cost, estimates Lynn. Students will be able to access core curriculum classes on their iPads that are 'enhanced with custom multimedia content,' and will come with 'at least 30 education, productivity, social and news-related iOS apps — some free and some paid for by the university.' This seems to be the beginning of a new era for American colleges. The Boca Raton university is not the first to give iPads to students instead of textbooks. Back in 2010, New Jersey-based Seton Hill University announced it would give students the tablets rather than books."
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Students At Lynn University Get iPad Minis Instead of Textbooks

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  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:14PM (#44657597)

    you could read books for free at a thing called a Library.

    i don't remember a time when i could refrain from spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks because they were all free at the library.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:15PM (#44657607)
    Richard Stallman cares http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html [gnu.org]
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:17PM (#44657625)

    Well you do also get an iPad that you can do stuff other then reading your text books.

    When going to grad school, I was lucky enough that most of my professors gave me PDFs of the documents they wanted to read and the school had an electronic access to journals. So I could get the document in electronic form. This is much better then a text book. For one I have condition where my eyes cannot follow straight lines, making reading books very difficult without a ruler, as I will jump to the next line and read a partial sentence. However on screen I can highlight the text while I am reading, Or have it text to speech the content to me. Where I can sit back and rest my eyes and listen to the content, or read along while it is playing. Making sure that I am not missing anything.

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:18PM (#44657641) Homepage
    So no resale at all rather than the shitty 3% return most campus bookstores pay. No holding onto for future reference. Little ability to gloss notes. And with the money they "save", students will be able to cover almost half of the "general fee" increase this year.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:18PM (#44657647)

    Unfortunately, textbook publishers generally charge the same amount for "digital" copies, while eliminating the used market through the use of activation codes. So, you still spend the same amount on text books (more, if you were planning to buy used), you cannot recoup any of that cost by reselling after the semester is over, and now you have to buy an iPad on top of it all -- even if it's wrapped up in the cost of tuition, you're still buying it. This is a win for only one group: the publishers.

  • Right to read (Score:5, Insightful)

    by knarf (34928) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:19PM (#44657659) Homepage

    For Dan Halbert, the road to Tycho began in collegeâ"when Lissa Lenz asked to borrow his computer. [gnu.org] Hers had broken down, and unless she could borrow another, she would fail her midterm project. There was no one she dared ask, except Dan...

  • ipad MINI ?!?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:20PM (#44657669)
    That's a horrible choice. I don't know about the books you have to read, but that miniature screen is too freaking small for several of the textbooks I had to use.

    Yes, I know you can enlarge the view, but you can't enlarge the screen, and when you need to see the whole thing at a size large enough to make out the details, a miniature screen is annoying and useless. The mini is a fail for that purpose.
  • It's about time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ghostworks (991012) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:27PM (#44657743)

    Every time I look at my old engineering texts taking up shelf space I think, "I wish that someone could take all these, cut out about half of the valuable material, dice up the remainder between 30 odd sites and apps, and then tie it to a device with a 7-year shelf life."

    As anyone who's dealt education-oriented online media (such as Blackboard) can tell you, the products are not always stellar. You get less text, its usually structured in such a way that it takes longer to read, the access is spotty, and it will probably not work as well as that in a year. Even the number one benefit of digitization -- search -- tends to be awkward or incomplete.

    They say the iPad is about half the cost of books. I can easily believe that, but it also means you don't get to buy used books, or re-sell your used books. They've streamlined the process in a way that either offers no benefit, or benefits suppliers more than students.

    It did convince the university to buy their student's books for them, provided you don't consider being forced to buy an iPad as being the same as being forced to "rent" used books. Or for that matter, so long as you don't consider going to a free library as an option. And so long as you don't consider that buying an iPad and getting electronic copies of textbooks was always an option for most books. All the ways they've streamlined the process are for the primary benefit of the supplier of the material.

    Overall, it seems workable for books that you no interest in keeping beyond one semester (electives). But that is exactly the case where you can generally benefit from being flexible, buying bog-standard books from any store you please, buying a digital copy, or going to the library as needed. If you're talking about material that will actually continue to be relevant after a single semester, it sounds like a bad idea, putting a random-valued timer on your reference material.

  • by swamp boy (151038) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:41PM (#44657885)

    or "I dropped it"

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:47PM (#44657941)
    Now the textbook industry can join in on the rent-seeking business model for doing almost nothing.
  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:53PM (#44658005)

    Why pay next to $500 for a locked down system with no ports to add on vs ones with no app store lock down on the desktop, full MS office, usb, sd card slots and more.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:59PM (#44658089)

    That's right, Time-Bomb Textbooks.

    Oh you failed that course and need to take it again?
    Too bad, your 1 year "right to read" has expired.
    Pay for that textbook, AGAIN.

    1st sale doctrine? NOTHING was sold to you.
    It was a lease!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @03:05PM (#44658167)

    Every term I put my personal copies of the relevant textbooks on 2 hour reserve in the library for the courses I teach.

    What you're talking about is convenience for free. Usually that doesn't come so cheap.

  • by flargleblarg (685368) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:02PM (#44660001)

    iPad Mini is a very foolish choice. It's only 768x1024. Should be a retina iPad instead, which is 1536x2048.

    The 1536x2048 resolution of the iPad 3/4 is miles better than the 768x1024 resolution of the old iPad and the iPad Mini. Frankly, 768x1024 is insufficient for reading anything but pure text like novels. You need 1536x2048 for technical material or anything serious at all.

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