Sorry but Moodle does this and is entirely free . Also anyone can publish an ebook in scribd for free and make it accesible via link anywhere and charge for it any price desired. I looks like iCrap is attemting to become a middle man in the publishing industry and further defraud the technologically subliterate croud.
It must be terrible having to read on the tiny iPhone4s screen and not to mention the
terrible battery life. The same would not be the case if you were using a sophisticated phone like the Samsung Galaxy S2 with its large sexy screen and super thin profile.
On another note, courses have been offered for for years using email with links to youtube material and ebooks published for free on websites like Scribd.
While Moodle might be a free service, how many Universities actually use it and/or support it?
Moodle has a wide support base abroad. It is currently gaining ground in the States and displacing for pay platforms like Blackboard. I would never consider hosting any material in
Blackboard for the simple reason that it is proprietary and the university has control over it.
Such is not the case for Moodle. You can host Moodle anywhere and charge for access to your course, and there is no nefarious middleman like Apple.
Technologically sophisticated academics have been using numerous techniques for teaching
courses online for years now. The thought of giving Apple 14 dollars for a textbook when you can place it in a website like scribd and charge pennies is pathological. I am sure that many clueless technologically sub-literate academics will embrace iCrap, but the honest truth is that there are much better ways of creating and hosting course material on the web than anything Apple has to offer for pay.
We already have websites that can:
host academic videos.
offer collaborative platforms akin to googledoc
host ebooks for free.
Some students I know are fond of employing youtube channels in their smart phones.
Here is an example of one presentation on "separable differential equations" given in the Khanacademy a youtube channel:
[citation][nom]del35[/nom]It must be terrible having to read on the tiny iPhone4s screen and not to mention the terrible battery life. The same would not be the case if you were using a sophisticated phone like the Samsung Galaxy S2 with its large sexy screen and super thin profile. .......
The thought of giving Apple 14 dollars for a textbook when you can place it in a website like scribd and charge pennies is pathological. [/citation]
While I do agree that Galaxy S2 is a nice phone, but both S2 and iPhone do not have big enough screen for a serious learning experience. If this kind of system will ever work, it has to be on some kind of tablet and even 7" tablet is too small to me.
While I do agree that there are already quite a few few options out there which are cheaper, or at least not controlled by Apple. Most of students still can not avoid of buying (new or used) or renting their textbooks. Yeah there are quite a few ways to get free ebook on line but do you really think those big publishers will just make (or allow us) to have them free online?
If you happen to be as unlucky as my profession that professor "always" use the most current version of textbook and change the textbook from different publishers, you will know buying an used or renting/borrowing is not always an option for us. In this kind of case, $14.99 a book is really a great help.
Just like before Apple may not invent anything new, but they are very good in:
1) put things together in an user friendly way
2) make some evil less evil and easier to swallow (legally)
While I still not sure how far will this system go since I have only seen very limited selection of textbook available. But with a long list of universities/high schools on board and at least 3 major textbook publishers on board, Apple is definitely heading to a nice direction.
Hopefully this system will make our/students' life much easier (and legally) like what they did for the digital music.... and of course, I indeed hopefully somebody like Google and the MS will eventually following Apple's step and make something even better and cheaper!!!
They say history repeats... I wish the success of smartphone story will happen on our digital education again!!
What I really dislike about this is the EULA that states if you sell your creations you're only allowed to do it via Apple iBooks. It'd be like MS demanding that I pay them royalties from any of the works that I create in Word and sell.