Technology is changing quickly. It seems as though almost everyday, another computer comes out with twice the memory and speed of the one that you just bought last week. The first iPhone came out in 2007, and wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to to the one on which I am currently typing. The rapidly changing environment in which we live is leading to creations that people couldn’t have even imagined just decades ago. Yet despite this technological renaissance, one area in particular seems to be stuck in the dark ages. Although it has great importance to society, education hasn’t really changed in any value adding way (What do smartboards really add anyway?). But one company, among others, is leading an initiative to change things in a very big way. On January 19th Apple inc. introduced their plans to fundamentally change education by reinventing the textbook. The man behind this push is Roger Rosner.
Before January 19th, Rosner was the man in charge of Apple’s iWork productivity suite. He oversaw Apple’s competition to Microsoft Office. However, his role in the company drastically changed with the introduction of two new tools; iBooks 2 and iBooks Publisher. The first allows students to download highly interactive textbooks to ones iPad, while the second allows anyone with a computer to create these new, rich experiences. Instead of looking at static models, students can now unzip a double helix. Now, when someone looks up a term in the glossary, a notecard gets created automatically. If these new tools reach a critical mass, this will be the biggest change in the history of education.
Bucknell would be privileged to have Rosner speak. He is the man in charge of an initiative that is very prevalent to every student on this campus. In general, we are a technologically savvy student body. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and many students use their laptops to take notes (for the most part) in class. It seems inevitable that that in the near future, whether it be Apple or another company, that textbooks will be predominantly digital. Roger Rosner would certainly have an interesting point of view about the convergence of technology and education, and thus, would be a great person to have at our university.