iPad Mini Big Deal For Education In America
Dallas Publisher of Books for the iPad Says Advancements For Books Are The Most Significant Since Gutenberg Invented The Printing Press
DALLAS—Apple’s announcement of the iPad Mini, and updates for iBooks 3 and the software used to create multi-touch, interactive books in iBooks Author exclusively for the iPad, are as significant as Gutenberg’s development of the printing press and will continue to change the way children of all ages learn around the world, Dallas Publisher Donald Claxton said Thursday on Dallas talk radio station KLIF.
Claxton, whose company has published a 179-page interactive book about the ancient Maya with a San Diego Mayan scholar, and is completing a children’s book entitled, There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse, by authors Ken Plume and John Robinson of Atlanta, said the updates are real game changers as Apple pursues a strategy to get iPad technology into more and more classrooms worldwide.
As important, the books made for this advancing platform are being developed in DFW by his company, which includes noted authors, editors, graphic artists and 3-D animators.
“With iBooks Author, which was released in late January, Apple has been able to change the way books are made—with the inclusion of hours of video, 3-D animations, interactive graphs, charts and drawings, in-chapter quizzes and more—we’ve even argued that the word ‘book’ is no longer applicable,” Claxton said. “But with Tuesday’s developments, they’ve made changes to books as significant as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press itself.”
“If you’re a student and you come to a portion where you’re confused or you want to ask a question, it’s now as simple as highlighting text in the book and then in a few clicks sharing your question via a Social Media thread,” Claxton said. “This is going to be significant as classrooms across America continue to introduce this technology and capabilities to their students. It is fundamentally going to change the process of learning. Imagine if you were reading a chapter, didn’t understand something, and fired off an email to the author or your teacher asking them to explain it further. That’s now a reality. The hypothetical no longer exists.”
Claxton also said that Apple’s strategy to introduce the iPad Mini wasn’t as much about being able to compete with Kindles and Nooks, but rather about being able to get more and more technology into cash-strapped school districts around the country and expand the reach of digital textbooks.
Apple noted Tuesday at 80 percent of all high school curriculums in American now are available in a digital format.
“Here in Dallas, Claxton Creative is leading the way in the development of these books. We are in the middle of a significant revolution in the way people learn,” Claxton said. “The software to make all this possible wasn’t even available until late January 2012. We are just in the beginning of this process and it’s going to be huge, particularly for school districts.”
Claxton, who served as the former communications director for Dallas ISD from 2001 until 2006, said a few months ago he had discussions with a former DISD superintendent about the costs of deploying iPadsto all students in Texas public schools from grades 3-12.
“To deploy iPads for thousands of public school students at a cost of $499 each was staggering. With the reduced costs for the iPad Mini, which starts at $329, that $170 multiplied by thousands of Texas schoolchildren can be a game changer,” Claxton said. “That means that last week, with a million dollars, a school district could buy 2,000 iPads. This week, that means they can buy 3,00 and that’s why the iPad Mini announcement wasn’t as much about doing battle with Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Barnes & Noble. It was about being able to put this product into the hands of schoolchildren for significantly less money and at a savings to taxpayers in the long run through reduced costs in the purchase of traditional textbooks.”
According to Apple, 91 percent of all tablet searches on the Internet are doing on an iPad. Apple also said that two weeks ago, they sold the 100 millionth iPad.
Claxton said his company has been consulting with other developers on iPad technology where students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a subject before being able to move on to the next level. “Imagine learning at your own pace and being able to show conclusively you’ve learned the material before being allowed to move to the next section. Again, this is no longer a hypothetical. It’s a reality.”
Books for the iPad, like the 2012 meme book Claxton developed with Dr. Mark Van Stone of Southwestern College in San Diego, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, which is available on the iBookstore, offer readers the ability to learn with greater visual aids and interactive materials.
“It’s like going to a museum and being encouraged to touch everything,” Claxton said. “With the ancient Rio Azul Masks made by the Maya more than 1,000 years ago, Claxton Creative produced 3-D replicas that are as good as it would be to hold the real thing. That’s what sets these books apart from the rest, and again, we’re only in the infancy of this new technology. Just wait a few years.”
Dr. Van Stone’s book produced by Claxton Creative, can be purchased in 32 countries worldwide: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Demonstrations of many of the new developments are available on ClaxtonCreative.com.
Claxton Creative, LLC
Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide. The company was founded by former Dallas ISD communications director, Donald J. Claxton and is supported with the assistance of Fort Worth Author Ron Rose, Dallas Author Allen Manning, Birmingham, AL editor Larisa Lovelady, Ally Stephenson of Huntsville, AL, and others.
Apple, the Apple logo, iBooks, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store and iBookstore are service marks of Apple Inc.