I wrote earlier this week about Apple's attempt to enter the school textbook market. I wanted to take some time to expand on that a little bit after reading a little more about the business venture. Time's Teachland has a good piece on the entire project. It appears the textbook companies are on-board because students would actually buy the eBooks new each year. I agree very much with the author, that this is clearly the future of textbooks. The question is, how long will it take to get there? I know, if I were starting a school from the ground up today, I would not buy one printed text for student use. Unfortunately, purchasing every student in a school district an iPad is just not something that a school or district can accomplish at this time. Maybe this will be something I see before I retire from the world of education.
So, how many of you have remember using an old style, card catalog? You know, you want to find a book in your local library, so you pull out the long drawers flipping through cards. Well those days are long gone of course (thankfully) and nearly all libraries use an electronic catalog system to keep track of their collections. Many of the school districts in Wayne County are using a system developed by Follett . It is a great system for school age children and prepares them for many of the advanced catalogs available in public and university libraries. Catalog software is quite expensive and really impractical for home libraries. Some book lovers may create their own spreadsheet or database to keep track of their books, however there is a great (free) tool online to not only catalog your books, but also meet and communicate with other book lovers online. The site librarything.com is a wonderful site that lets you catalog your own home library. Think of it as a "Facebook