MacTouch will Change so Much in the Coming Year

Our university President recently told me that the most common complaint he hears is that textbook costs are too high. He also relayed his excitement about all he has heard about the Amazon Kindle. Of course he was a bit surprised when I showed him the Kindle App on my iPhone. His excitement related to his hopes for bringing the cost of higher education down and he could see the relationship to the growth of eBooks. I then reminded him of my prediction to our executive committee that textbooks, bookstores and libraries would be dramatically different a year from now and the key reason would be the soon to be announced larger iTouch or what I refer to as the MacTouch.

A recent article by Jason Schwarz does a great job of summing up all that we think we know about Apple’s new MacTouch. I have been talking about this device along with many others, but my interest is more directly related to how I believe it will effect higher education. This quote from the article says a lot.

By next year, we will all be wondering how the newspaper industry survived as long as it did with its outdated paper delivery model. The iTouch will replace newspapers, magazines, and books. Imagine a college student not having to lug around his $600 worth of textbooks each semester. Imagine not having to load up on magazines at the airport. The digitization of education and media has arrived. This is the first device that caters to digital readers on the go.

Our hopes are that this device does truly cater to the needs of higher education both for reducing costs and for enhancing learning. Don’t get to hung up on the comments of the book purists who believe that sitting on a couch with a good book is the only way it can be. I think my wife may only buy books on her iPhone Kindle from now on. Reading with a back-light option and having all her books always with her more then justifies that couch cozy argument. So Apple; just remember that I want a price point around $700 and for it not to be over focused as an entertainment device.

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith has retired. His last position was the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on July 27, 2009, in eBook, Kindle. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I would love your take on the text book industry and how the new Apple product will either 1) work with, 2) subvert, 3) transcend this long-standing, embedded industry. Will Apple do to the textbook industry what it did to the music industry. Are there similarities? Is this market significantly different?

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