This iBook covers the content of the International GCSE in Physics offered by Edexcel over seven chapters on the topics of ‘waves’, ‘energy resources and energy transfer’, ‘radioactivity’, ‘forces and motion’, ‘solids, liquids and gases’, ‘electricity’ and ‘magnetism’. Each new chapter has an introduction page followed by a list of learning points that are taken directly from the specification for the course.
All iBooks share a number of features that make them very useful tools for revision. By using the gesture of a long tap on the screen, a portion of the text can be highlighted and four options become available. If it is a single word then by tapping on ‘define’ your tablet will search the web for a definition, therefore making it easier to dispel quickly any doubt over terminology. Selecting ‘search’ will bring a list of results of where else in the iBook the same word is found. It is possible to personalise the text by adding in a ‘note’ of your own. This then becomes a small icon beside the associated text. Tap on this icon and the note reappears. The additional menu of the iBook will allow you to access all notes as a list along with a fantastic option of viewing these notes as flashcards to learn. Each note can be highlighted with a particular colour enabling different groups of notes to be set up.
This iBook has done its best to include all the equations and key words required for each topic in GCSE Physics. A few of the equations also have worked examples and the units for each of the variables in the equation. Images are frequently used to support the summary notes and by tapping on the image it will enlarge to fit the centre of the screen.
The main difference between a regular book and an iBook is the potential for the reader to interact with the content by using a range of ‘widgets’. These ‘widgets’ can be used to create quizzes, embed videos, interact more with images and connect to websites and social media. Apart from one quiz, this iBook has disappointingly made no use of these options and relies only on the very basic interaction outlined above.
In general, revision guides require more than just blocks of text and the occasional image or diagram. They need to be dynamic with colour that highlights key words with their definitions and have a layout that provides the learner with connections between content. Unfortunately this publication is plain and serves to deliver only the very basics of Physics notes and no more. Students also need to be exposed to how they will be tested in their exam through example questions and a chance to test their knowledge. This is something that an updated version of this iBook could easily consider including.