Publisher Touts 20-Point Boost in Student Performance with Textbooks for iPad

With Apple announcing its iBooks Textbooks initiative yesterday, the company has been pushing its view that the iPad can help revolutionize education by keeping students engaged with unprecedented levels of interactivity.


In an attempt to assess the effect of iPad textbooks on student performance, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) performed a year-long pilot program using an iPad version of the company's Algebra 1 textbook for middle school students. The study, conducted at Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, California, saw 78% students taking the course using the iPad textbook rank as "Proficient" or "Advanced" in the subject, compared to only 58% of students using the traditional print textbook.

The first assessment of the pilot— Riverside's district Algebra benchmark –took place during the second trimester of the 2010–2011 year. Students using HMH Fuse scored an average of 10 percentage points higher than their peers. The app's impact was even more pronounced after the California Standards Test in spring 2011, on which HMH Fuse students scored approximately 20 percent higher than their textbook-using peers.

Educators noted increased motivation on the part of students using the iPad app, as well as the personal level of interactivity, as factors contributing to student success. Students also found the iPad experience more natural and put them more in charge of their own learning, factors that increased student interest and engagement.

One important consideration is that the iPad textbook offered by HMH was not an official iBooks Textbook as introduced by Apple yesterday. The publisher's Fuse program has offered iPad versions of its Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry textbooks as apps in the App Store since last year. The apps are currently offered as free sample downloads with the full textbooks available via in-app purchase at $59.99 each, considerably higher than Apple's maximum price of $14.99 for titles in the iBooks Textbooks program.

HMH was the only one of Apple's three main partner publishers to not release any iBooks Textbooks at yesterday's event, with Pearson and McGraw-Hill each releasing a small handful of titles to kick off the program. It seems that HMH may now be working to transition its Fuse program to iBooks Textbooks, accounting for the later launch of its titles.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
115 months ago

Technology like this (and textbooks like these) would have definetly helped me to stay focused and be a better a student while in high school. For me a thick old textbook on the desk, with a list of chapters or pages to read marked on the chalkboard, always seemed like such a daunting task.

But now become more interactive and interesting, and of course more visually stimulating to your mind. I would have loved to have these! :)

Until this becomes old, boring and the norm.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
For those thinking there is only a positive side to this technology based learning let me share some real world experiences.

We live in a world (now) with incredible access to information - yet people still can't use google or a search function (ie - on this site) to find information. Instead - they are so used to immediate gratification/etc that they post a new thread or ask questions which are easily answered via google.

It used to be going to the library and looking up periodicals. Photocopying. Writing by hand notes/etc to write a report was labor intensive.

Now students of all ages (I have several friends who are teachers) complaining about having to even copy/paste information from various online sources.

It's quite sad how the English language is fractured because of sites like Facebook and Twitter. People spell Pls instead of please. Not just online anymore - but on papers. And so on.

Am I being "doom and gloom" - perhaps. But my point is - that as great as technology is - it doesn't always advance intellect. On some levels it cripples it. Or at least alters it in ways that aren't 100 percent improvements.

I think interactive books are a FANTASTIC idea as a learning tool. Not exclusively as one.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago

Educators noted increased motivation on the part of students using the iPad app, as well as the personal level of interactivity, as factors contributing to student success.



My goodness! Makes you wonder how all the intellectual achievements from the beginning of time ever happend without an iPad app. :D

Seriously, it's a little disingenuous to say a short, limited pilot is much proof of anything. Obviously kids are going to be more engaged with something new but ultimately, as always, learning comes down to quality content and human (be it peer, teacher, or TA) interaction with the students. The iPad is not going to save our schools. At some point normally unmotivated kids will become as bored with iPad books as paper books once the novelty wears off.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
I wonder how this will affect ADD rates. And then Adult ADD rates.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago

It's part of the education process along with socialization. What is the difference if they are in class and have their head in a book for quiet time of 30 mins or 30 mins on an iPad?

Textbooks are antiquated. The iPad replaces the textbook. It doesn't replace the classroom experience and socialization with classmates.

You need to separate the two entities.


Gateway drug so to speak.

Do you have young kids or are even near young kids? They are more anti-social and are constantly using their ipod touches/ipads instead of interacting with people. And heaven forbid you try and take it away or talk to them/engage them in conversation.

Again - I'm not against technology. I just think it's a TOOL - not the answer to learning in total.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
115 months ago
I always dislike studies like this because I feel bad for the kids that get stuck in the "stupid" group.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iFixit Shares Full iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Teardown Revealing Interchangeable Displays and Batteries

Saturday October 24, 2020 1:48 pm PDT by
After live streaming a teardown of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro earlier this week, iFixit today provided a more in-depth teardown that goes through all of the components in the new devices, revealing several similarities between the two. Early testing conducted by iFixit shows that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro displays are interchangeable and can be swapped without issue, though the max...