Inkling, a new app and textbook producer, was mentioned recently in the Wired Campus blog from The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Kaya, Travis. “Classroom iPad Programs Get Mixed Response” Sept. 20, 1010)
What is it? An app for buying, reading, and annotating textbooks which includes searching, highlighting, notetaking, and the ability to share those notes online with others. Textbooks, or individual chapters, are purchased through Inkling. They are downloaded to your iPad but can be deleted and restored direct from Inkling.
Positives: beautifully produced books, easy navigation, nice interactivity with self-help sections, slick annotating, includes page number markers that map to print version so that you can reference as needed.
Negatives: very few textbooks currently available, propietary format for books that is not yet public (i.e. you can’t create your own), they are still textbooks with all the pedagogical implications that implies.
Inklings addresses two issues central to academic use: what will textbooks look like in the mobile learning world and, as annotating seems to be a major requirement in any educational app, what standard practices will arise as the “best way” to enable annotating.
Check it out: http://www.inkling.com/about
At the very least you can get a free (abridged) copy of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style.