What it is: Inkling is a new textbook platform for the iPad. It transforms paper based textbooks int engaging, interactive, collaborative learning experiences. My favorite feature of Inkling: the ability to purchase by chapter or whole book. Most of us remember those classes where we purchased a $400 book only to crack it open once for one chapter. Another fabulous feature of Inkling is the shared notes that make it simple to collaborate with other students and teachers in real-time. Interactive media is included in every textbook including movies, 3D objects and guided tours. The tools are easy to access and use, they are well designed to be quick to access but not distracting from the textbook. (As an aside, I’m not sure they can even call these textbooks…they are so much more than text!) Interactive quizzes are built-in that help students to determine their level of understanding as they work. An intuitive search engine predicts the search as it is typed. Right now the titles available are rather limited (7 at the time of this review), with any luck titles will be added quickly making the iPad a must have college bound device. What would be even better is if k-12 texts were made available, that would really be something to get excited about!
How Inkling can enrich learning: Inkling is like a textbook on steroids. It makes reading and learning a joy with built-in multimedia to enhance the learning experience, the ability to highlight and take notes, and the ability to share those notes and annotations with other students and teachers. The collaborative nature of the app is really appealing. Now students and teachers can make learning a collaborative effort by adding discussion questions, annotations, observations, and highlighting key elements of a text.
Devices: iPad Requires iPhone OS 3.2 or later.
Price: Free (iTunes Link)**