Push Pop Press and Inkling
The iPad is popping up across the nation's classrooms. Not only does it offer numerous education-related software titles, is an affordable classroom computing device, and sucks students right into the learning content, the device also is attracting some very bright and creative minds in the soon-to-explode field of digital books.
I have known of Mike Matas' work for several years. He has just launched a new company, Push Pop Press, that will begin releasing books for the iPhone and iPad. Mike first came to my attention when, at the age of 19, he created Delicious Library at his office, a coffee shop. Shortly thereafter he went to work for Apple for several years.
Matt McInnis, also a former Apple employee, created the startup Inkling. I first met Matt several years ago when he was in China and willingly helped some of our 6th grade students at Mabry Middle School craft a digital video project with the purpose of raising funds for an impoverished Chinese family to purchase a water buffalo for farming. The students did a video conference with Matt as part of their final project.
When a textbook is more than a textbook
Imagine what's possible. That's the hard part, isn't it—breaking the mold that binds us. Imagine a textbook on which students can take notes and ask questions. Oh, and their fellow classmates and their teachers can answer them, right there, in their textbook, in real time. This is just one of the innovations these young men are making a reality: "to have your entire social network turned into a learning network."
I also read today that Buford City School, in Buford, GA, a bit north of Atlanta, has purchased iPads and iPods for all of their K-12 students.* Amazing.
I am fascinated to see where the digital textbook will take us. The journey will be an interesting one!
*Tip of the fedora to Jo-Anne Preston, of Mabry Middle School fame.