Paperless publishing to revolutionize the way we learn?

Are we still going to rely on paper and pulp to give us books and publications in the future? According to this article, Apple may be revolutionizing the way we think about “books”. In it, the author Joshua Benton writes that a new iPad app may make “publishing” a breeze and paving the way for easy to produce and publish e-books. From an environmental standpoint, this might be a godsend since the mounds and mounds of paper needed to produce a single publication might be the thing of the past. From a social and cultural perspective, this might also be a positive sign since more and more people are turning to their mobile phones and tablets to read the news, books, surf the net, etc…

Towards the end of the article, Benton explains that even Apple is targeting this new concept of publishing e-books specficially for non-traditional forms of computing (i.e. not laptops or desktop computers) – do I hear more iPads being sold and marketed to the public and schools? Could this be a way Apple will target it’s corporate social responsibility – “we’re saving trees and the environment!” Not long ago, I heard that an international school here in Geneva is also giving away iPads as part of compulsory school materials! Is this the death of education as we know it, or just a radical adaptation of how we learn, research and access information for education, and in general? Only time will tell, but perhaps the kid in the below photo will find that books and paper-based materials to be a rarity…

Long shadows on a bright sunny winter afternoon in Geneva