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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Challenges for the iPad in Higher Ed

According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, some universities are reporting security and connectivity issues that are preventing students from accessing university networks with their iPad devices. George Washington University has said that the security features on its wireless network do not support the iPad. Princeton University is also reporting a connectivity issue and has had to block 20 percent of the devices from its network. The universities are working to resolve the problems but it could be months before the devices are fully supported. Other universities including NYU report that the devices work fine on their campuses.

Apart from the network issue, there is also the issue that textbooks are not yet available on the iPad. As we discussed in a prior posting, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, Pearson, and Kaplan Publishing have all partnered with ScrollMotion to turn their textbooks and test-prep guides into applications for the iPad but so far only Kaplan has a few study guides available. According to the WSJ article, ScrollMotion co-founder, Josh Koppel, said that the textbooks will be available within “several months” but further details were not provided.

Update: The WSJ article reported that Cornell University was also experiencing network and connectivity issues but an article from The Cornell Daily Sun says that the university is not experiencing any issues. This posting has been updated to reflect the change.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Just a thought here, but maybe textbook publishers are coming to realize that porting their books into every format that comes along isn't offering 'more choice', its creating 'more confusion'.

No offense to Apple or ScrollMotion, but who says students will like it? How many pilot projects is it going to take before the industry acknowledges that they are going to have to figure out what customers actually want, need, will use and can afford, and THEN design the products to best meet those criteria?