Could BU really support the iPad?

Having to pay to go to school and then to pay to buy all the text books needed for school is a daunting task. However, there is hope in the future for all you soon-to-be/someday-will-be college student. The e-readers are starting a small revolution in textbook purchasing options. The concept is not fully, nor well, developed at this point. Coursesmart only allows you to lease books for 180 days and then you lose them again. No chance for resell (although how many books do I have on my shelf that by the end of the semester were unsellable as well?). The e-text books are considerable cheaper and there is a serious advantage in that, clearly.
However, it seems to me that BU makes a pretty nice profit off all those overpriced text books sold that the local B&N. Would they really be able to adopt the new, cheaper, less profitable option of allowing all text books to go digital. At some point, whether they like it or not, it will be forced upon them to accept and progress. However, at this time its looks like a distant future. Maybe my children will read digital text books. Maybe not.
Today, in BU Today, our online newspaper, there was an article shamelessly, and somewhat embarrassingly, promoting the iPad as what will bring textbooks to digital form. I wonder to myself where this reporter has been during the Kindle and Nook phenomenon. She argues that the iPad is better suited for text books because it is color screen and a little big larger. False. False. False.
The iPad has no way of creating annotations or underlining or notes. The iPad is not an e-reader. It doesn’t even know what it is! It’s some awkward hybrid of trying to be too many things at one time and being nothing at all. Too small to be a computer, too big to be an iTouch, to incapable to be an e-reader what will people use this infant thrown into the jaws of technology’s biggest critics. Apple fans will defend it against all logic with a basis of pure loyalty to the company. And so be it.
However, I have come up with one situation where the ipad will be useful. As an expensive entertainment device for an only child. For example, it can be used for playing video games in the car. Or watching movies. Or reading over-priced e-books. But it’s still expensive and can really only be used by one person at a time, so let’s hope you don’t have multiple children. And let’s hope that your child is careful with toys.
I’m sure that there are other ways that the iPad will be a great success, I haven’t thought of any but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there. Perhaps someone will enlighten me of their existence and then I will gladly stand corrected.


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