Aug 10, 2012

Textbooks get an iMakeover


Textbooks get an iMakeoverTurn on a TV, take a trip to your nearest superstore or listen to the radio right now and you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in advertising for clothing bargains, office supply blowouts and expanded selections of backpacks; yep it’s back-to-school time. For me, the beginning of a school year harkens memories of freshly-sharpened number two pencils, new unscuffed tennis shoes and a heaping pile of heavy textbooks. These books were never new, always a few years old and littered with renderings of the previous owner’s thoughts about the teacher in sketch form throughout the pages. Wrapped in kraft paper to avoid further damage and a fine at the end of the year, I stuffed five or six of these monsters in my backpack and toted them home and back every day. They made my back hurt, were boring to read and smelled kinda weird.

Given this description of my daily plight, you can see why I’m totally jealous of the new generation of textbooks hitting schools. Digital textbooks are rolling out at a rapid pace, and schools systems all over the country are implementing this new technology into their academic programs. Experts say that school-age kids have grown up in a world of technology, and as a result the way they learn has changed. Digital textbooks allow for a world of interactivity that could never be achieved with a traditional book. Interactive diagrams, end-of-chapter quizzes, embedded video and dynamically updated HTML content are just a few of the attractive features of these digital publications. This interactive content isn’t just limited to your everyday algebra textbook either; it’s being utilized in flight manuals, medical books, music theory and more. Utilizing Apple’s iBooks Author, users can even create and publish their own books to Apple’s iBookstore, meaning teachers can create custom content for their classes and get relevant material into students’ hands quickly and easily.

The technology behind digital textbooks is just a small part of the growing movement toward on-demand content. Consumers expect their digital books, online video and streaming media to be available where they want it, when they want it, and fast. Can your IT Infrastructure handle the strain of users all over the globe? A content delivery network can help your company get content to users faster and more seamlessly. Check out our CDN Overview to learn more about how Internap’s CDN can put your content in the fast lane.

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