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The Great Textbook Challenge - iPad in Canada Blog - Canada's #1 iPad Resource iPad in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPad Resource

The Great Textbook Challenge

by on September 15th, 2010

I’d like to thank app developers for recognizing that students will get a great use out of textbook apps on iPad. I do ask, however, that they pick up the pace.

I’ll sum up my eTextbook experience with CourseSmart for you very quickly.

New Paper Copy in Bookstore: $119.10
Used Paper Copy in Bookstore: $89.35
EBook with CourseSmart on iPad: $38.08

That’s right. True story. I saved almost $80 by buying one textbook. That’s roughly one eleventh of the price of the top of the line iPad. Let me put this another way. If you bought eleven textbooks on your iPad instead of hard copies from the bookstore, the savings would have paid for an iPad.

You read that right. If you invest in an iPad for school, you’ll save money. (And save the trees, if you care about that sort of thing.)

There’s just one issue with this whole being-cool-with-an-iPad-whilst-saving-money-and-trees scenario. There are just not enough textbooks available. Of all my classes, only one has the book available for iPad. One. Call me greedy, but I want more.

What about students like me who aren’t in first year? We want to buy our advanced level textbooks to read on our iPads too!

You can find great texts on Inkling and CourseSmart, like Introduction to Psychology/Economics/Biology, but that doesn’t help a fourth year student like me. I already have those books in archaic paper copy from a few years back.

I am taking one first year course this year, Introduction to Film Studies, and that is the only book I was able to find for my iPad.

(NOTE: There has been some speculation from my family and friends for this course choice. Some believe that I chose to take this course in my last year because it would be an easy class, and some believe that I chose this course because I could get my first textbook on my iPad. The truth? I’ll leave that for you to find out.)

So, textbook publishers and app developers, I thank you and I appreciate you for your hard work, but I also challenge you to make more relevant books available for iPad users, and quickly! You won’t regret it.

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