It’s a big deal in Florida: this fall Clearwater High School is eliminating all textbooks, for all 21 hundred students, and will instead make the content available on iPads or Kindles. It’s going to cost around 600 grand, according to the St. Petersburg Times newspaper (where you can still read their stuff online free). The paper claims Clearwater High will be the first school in the nation to go paperless.
That’s THIS fall, as in just about a month away.
Another sign that these portable devices like the iPad and Kindle are becoming more and more “mainstream”: Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airlines is launching an iPad-only inflight magazine, and the first edition will be on flights in October. Content for iPhones and Android devices should follow in a few months.
Branson’s a real maverick, but he says it’s vital to target his upscale clientele and international customer base with exclusive mobile-smart-device-only content on travel, technology, and entrepreneurism. He’s put his daughter Holly in charge of the project. Both of them believe they have to provide this content to planeloads of passengers with electronic devices in their hands or on their lap, to stay ahead of the competition.
Hearst Corporation, with roots in both the print and broadcast industry, sold 12 thousand downloads of the Popular Mechanics app since it came out earlier this month. The popular techie publication, “Wired”, is now digital-only. At the top right of the front page of “Wired”, you’ll see a tab marked “Wired on iPad”.
More national newspapers are going to “paywalls” – cough up the dough if you want the content. News Corp’s Times and Sunday Times are said to be close to charging for content, and they’ve got a paywall that even Google’s powerful web spiders can’t surmount. The New York Times is tinkering with its metering system and will supposedly introduce a revised model next year.
The future’s getting closer every day.