Can e-readers replace textbooks? Houston Community College Southwest, which previously tried the Amazon Kindle in several courses, is testing the Apple iPad, reports Community College Times.
“Our student population is constantly on the go, juggling work, family life and attending classes,” says Paul Garcia, a life sciences professor at the college. “Having a mobile device that is big enough to actually see text and lectures is an excellent resource both educationally and financially for our students.”
Students in selected courses will be loaned an iPad for the semester with free downloads of the textbook and lectures, study guides, practice quizzes and video clips; they can contact classmates and the instructor via webmail.
While the iPad starts at $500, HCC-SW students may spend $800 a semester on textbooks, according to the college.
“It’s hard having to come up with the money to buy books every semester,” says Mari Hernandez, an anatomy and physiology student at HCC-SW. “With the iPad, I was able to download it for free and start studying right away, instead of waiting until I could afford to buy the book.”
Instructors must change teaching methods to keep students engaged, Garcia says. “In using the iPad, we can show the students movies and animations and give them a wide array of multimedia resources that they can tap into.”