What does the future of books hold? I believe we’re at a transition point between “books” and something… else. Below you’re going to find my “dry run” at this December’s VSTE conference, where I will demonstrate the use of iBooks Author 2.0 from Apple as a tool for creating rich-media digital books.
But I also think in taking the leap to create such a monster we have to understand our place in the landscape of digital media, including video, PDF, movies, the Web, and more. I believe that today there are a lot of viable mechanisms to distribute digital texts, and a lot of competing, viable formats (ePub, Flexbooks, PDF, the iBooks just to name a few). But I also believe today that the iBook app on the iPad and the rich textbook model from Apple are a pair of strong solutions–simply because the tool to create them is free and so easy to use.
The “chapter” isn’t finished on this… and that’s my point: we’re in a state of flux and development. The real innovations will take place with how we use these new interpretations of “book” to advance our mission as educators.