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Tablet Insight: The Future of Textbooks

With the announcement of its new iBooks Author app, Apple may be set to revolutionize how digital publishing goes forth in the 2010’s. This time, the company is targeting the student population by taking on textbooks. The results could be astounding—for both Apple and for learners.

Last week Apple held an education event in New York City, unveiling iBooks Authors, Apple's new tool for creating electronic textbooks. iBooks Author is a free Mac app that lets authors and publishers easily make multimedia-rich e-textbooks. The app lets the author drag in text and pictures from documents, the web or even keynote presentations—a pretty useful resource not only for the students but also the teacher.

With this new app, Apple is stepping into the ring with other online publishers, most notably Amazon’s Direct Publishing. By targeting the textbook market “Apple just incentivized every college student to get an iPad” as the guys over at Techcrunch pointed out.

iBooks Author

So, what is the best case for classroom? Well, that depends.

For Students

College students

If you’re stepping onto a college campus for the first time with your iPad, you may want to think about the diverse folio tablet cases . They are great for lecture halls and the dorm room.

Generally the folio-style cases allow good all around protection and can be tossed into your backpack without too much worry about the Apple iPad.

One of our highest-rated folio-style cases is the iFrogz iPad 2 Summit Case. What’s great about most folio cases is that they come with a built-in fold out stand. If you’re typing away notes in class or watching videos in your dorm room, the stand is a great extra function.

iFrogz iPad 2 Summit Case

Belkin Access Folio Stand has similar convertible stand, but the design is a bit more modest than that of the iFrogz case.

Belkin Access Folio Stand

Highschool students

For high school students, you might want to consider something a bit more rugged, like the Capdase Apple iPad 2 Slek Sleeve. The Slek offers quite a bit more protection when the tablet is being carried around.

Capdase iPad 2 Slek

To help with some protection out of the case, the Slek is best when combined with either a shell or tablet screen protector .

Or check out GelaSkins, who make some great, customizable protective skins that are perfect for the high school hallway.

GelaSkins iPad 2 Skin

For Teachers

If you are a teacher using an Apple iPad 2 in the classroom, then the Griffin Airstrap might be of use when you are doing some one-to-one work. Simply slide it on your hand and you are able to easily present a diagram, chart or video clip to help a student.

Griffin Airstrap

For Principals

If you are the one in charge of purchasing the iPads and getting them into the schools, you’ll want to make sure they are going to last for years. Luckily, we have some low-priced cases that will make the Apple iPads last a bit longer.

iFrogz iPad Soft Gloss Case

If there’s only one or two iPads in the classroom and you want to have some extra security, Kensington has a secure solution.

Kensington Secureback

Who’s making the textbooks?

If you’re curious to see what the future of these textbooks are, take a look at one company, Inkling, who specializes in multi-media, interactive learning material:

Curiosity is definitely piqued.


Tablets are an excellent fit in education. For both college students and high schoolers, they’re perfect: slim, lightweight, interactive and easier to carry around than five heavy textbooks. These new textbooks almost wish I was a student again!

Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.