Apple’s iBooks Author: Potential, Pedagogical Meanings, and Implementation Challenges

Apple’s iBooks Author: Potential, Pedagogical Meanings, and Implementation Challenges

Jackie HeeYoung Kim (Armstrong Atlantic State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4538-7.ch007
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This chapter discusses Apple’s iBooks Author, a brand-new Mac application intended for textbook writers and publishers to create e-textbooks. This chapter provides insight on why IBA holds a prominent place in the field of education and will change our classroom landscape, that is, how we teach and learn. The main purpose of this chapter is to explore IBA’s potential, possible controversial issues, pedagogical meanings, and implementation challenges of using it as a classroom textbook. The chapter includes lessons learned from the leading countries in implementing e-textbooks in the classroom, such as South Korea and Malaysia.
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As technology develops dramatically, it provides a plethora of potential learning tools. As a result, educators have had increasingly emerging attempts to take advantage of rich media to provide better education. The integration of technology in education appeals to the interest of the digital generation, who are growing up with technology. Digital technology has greatly influenced every aspect of their lives: how they play, how they socialize, how they communicate, and how they learn. Technology is integrated seamlessly into the personal and social aspects of their life. Technology further changes the academic environment. This technology force often acts upon the delivery of the content and the use of media in the academic environment.

This chapter will address a recent, innovative technology force, Apple’s iBooks Authors (IBA), which should hold a prominent place in the field of education because it can be an initiative that changes our classroom landscape of how we teach and learn. With this user-friendly, first-hand technology, the e-publication experience becomes more beneficial, personal, and professional. Because of IBA’s user-friendly mechanism, not only can teachers create their own e-textbook, but students also can publish an eBook online at home. IBA is a newly developed cultural tool (Vygotsky, 1993) that supports a new form of thought and a new cognitive culture.

Electronic books transferring paper-based content to digital form has evolved into teaching and learning support systems equipped with numerous tools to help learners explore, build, apply, and share knowledge (Rao, 2003). Typically, publishing eBooks, has been the practice of simply digitizing content that was originally meant for print. Therefore, an electronic book (variously, e-book, eBook, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) has been defined as a book composed in or converted to digital format for display on a computer screen or handheld device (eBook, n. d.).

The IBA publishing application extends the capacity of what eBooks can do. It offers various interactive functions, multimedia content such as video clips, animations, and virtual reality as well as reference books, Web resources, dictionaries. In other words, IBA literally creates globally connected and animated textbooks that not only construct the knowledge of individual learners, but also manage students’ performance from remote places through the Internet. IBA allows learners to create personalized textbooks while using the digital textbook - underlining important parts, taking notes, and adding more helpful resources as they became known. Through an analytic data set, teachers can monitor where students are in terms of their performance. IBA features four key educationally meaningful functions: (1) Authoring Tool; (2) Interactive Interface; (3) Analytic Tool; (4) Multimedia Integration. These four key functions will address many of the contemporary issues in education, such as data-driven instructional planning and implementation, differentiated instruction, problem-based instruction, self-directed learning, project-based learning, collaborative learning and discovery learning.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) I (Technology Operations and Concepts) and III (Teaching and Learning, and the Curriculum) for teachers emphasize the need to be able to identify and understand the potential benefits of technology for learners (ISTE, 2012). The significance of IBA calls for the exploration of IBA’s potential, pedagogical meanings, and implemental challenges to come. This chapter will tap into these aforementioned areas of IBA. IBA can bring various arrays of educational e-technology tools to teach, to assess students, and to collect student performance data in and through an e-textbook. This chapter will highlight the following topics:

  • Pedagogical meaning of IBA in the classroom

  • Potential controversies of IBA in the classroom

  • Potential implementations of IBA in the classroom

  • Educational issues and IBA: Differentiated instruction; self-directed learning; self-paced learning; assessment-based (data-driven) teaching

  • Lessons learned from the leading countries in implementing advanced e-textbooks in the classroom—South Korea and Malaysia

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