In light of Apple’s recent announcement, this week on the Rukuku blog, I’d like to turn the focus to the implications, issues, and promise of recent tech innovations as they pertain to education. This will be the first post in a series aimed at provoking discussion on the topic.
As often happens when Cupertino executives in black turtlenecks unveil a new creation, the world of tech and education is abuzz over Apple’s new electronic textbook initiative. In case you haven’t heard of it because you live in a hole underground (I do, and trust me, it’s not worth it without internet access), the basic idea is this: Apple, partnering with major publishers, will offer interactive, searchable textbooks that students can purchase cheaply for a yearly subscription. That’s right, students: no more shelling out $500 every semester for a backache. Instead, all your books will now be neatly and compactly stored on your iPad. Oh, right: you have to buy an iPad. And when you break it (and you will, since you’re a rambunctious college student), you’re gonna have to buy another one. Well played, Apple.
Regardless of the benefits and pitfalls of this particular project, it demonstrates something that is becoming remarkably apparent: technology is changing education permanently and at a rate never seen before. Gone are the days of wasting hours away searching for information in libraries, confining oneself exclusively to reading words on a page in order to learn something, being bored or unmotivated by educators, and other archaic 20th century problems. Traditional methods of learning are being challenged, questioned, revolutionized, and improved.
If it’s not too immodest to say, that’s where our little company comes in. The world is careening into the future on the bullet train of innovation, and Rukuku is definitely onboard.
Leave us your thoughts on the issue, and stay tuned this week for more on this topic!