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
112 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
112 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
112 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
112 months ago
I wonder how this will affect ADD rates. And then Adult ADD rates.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 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
112 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

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...