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Inkling iPad Textbooks Add Group Study

A company that's converting textbooks into iPad apps has just released a new version of its platform. Version 2.0 of Inkling has a new study group feature that lets readers of the textbook communicate with others in class or Facebook friends by posting questions and comments on a specific page.

Inkling currently works with McGraw-Hill and Pearson to recreate textbooks into digital applications that include 3D models, interactive assessment, and real-time collaboration capabilities.

The new release allows the reader to organize notes, highlights, bookmarks, and links in a notebook that's stored to the cloud. From within the textbook, the student can search results from Wikipedia or Google and have them appear inside the book. Search results can also be saved to the note-book for later access.

"Inkling is not about making digital replications of textbooks. Instead they transform the content to create an interactive and immersive experience," said Warren Wiechmann, a faculty director within the Instructional Technologies Group at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. "Static text has embedded multimedia and self-assessments that allow the students to work with the material, not just read it. As medical education moves towards a more active and engaged learning experience, Inkling stands out as a product that excels in this arena."

"Inkling has set the standard for the future of textbooks," added Jason Seitz, a political science instructor who uses Inkling in his classroom at Georgia Perimeter College.

The company currently features 50 textbooks in its online store. Each can be purchased in full or chapter by chapter, typically at a discount. For example, the iPad-based 13th edition of Strategic Management by Fred David and published by Pearson can be purchased for $139.99; any chapter from the book is $13.99. The hard copy edition sells through the Pearson Web site for $197.33.

The company said in a statement that it has more than 50 universities recommending or requiring Inkling this fall.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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