It’s a Start

I see in the morning paper that the Encinitas School Board committee on something –or-other has bought 40 iPADS to determine if the school district should purchase 3,500 of them to start replacing textbooks at the lower level.

The answer is yes, with the qualification that there is current textbook content to be useful – and I do not know that.

What I do know is that it is so much easier and cheaper to publish anything through apps. I bought an app yesterday that promised 100 Tips for the iPAD, and it was excellent. It cost me $0.99, or basically a penny a tip,and since I already knew half of them or more perhaps I paid two cents a useful tip.

An app I use for video editing, iMOVIE, is one of my most expensive apps, $4.95, but it is every bit as good as the full fledged (and much more complicated) video editing software I bought a decade ago for $595! The instant delivery of millions of copies of an “app” electronically to users in a single week means a voracious audience that can generate millions of dollars quickly.

Many of the existing apps are not good in their initial sale, but the cashflow permits almost immediate upgrades to the software, and thousands of suggestions as to how to improve the software daily. Immediate feedback and immediate cash makes apps quickly useful.

The same can happen with an app for math, or history, or (fill in the blank.) By the time a history book is published it is already outdated and at a cost nearing $100 a book, it is too expensive to replace quickly. A history book with an error has a long shelf life, while an electronic book can be updated in a day.

Now if we could just update the very expensive teaching corps as quickly.