Apple has officially announced an education event for next Thursday January 19th at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. This will be Apple’s first event since the announcement  of the iPhone 4S back in October. Many are speculating as to what this can be from iTunes U to having textbooks on the iPad. The latter is something that Steve Jobs felt strongly about and has been written about in the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.

I feel that the iPad is the perfect platform for textbooks. Let’s look at this from a financial standpoint, and from the standpoint of having the most up to date information.  Schools will no longer have to purchase physical text books that tend to cost more than their digital counterparts. So the school districts will be saving money in the long run. In addition, Steve Jobs mentioned in his biography that the textbooks would be free with the iPads. Now that might, or might not come to fruition, only time will tell.

If you remember back to when you where in K-12 you generally had textbooks that were out of date when it came to certain subjects. Think of how convenient it would be to simply download an update to your textbook, and not feel like your learning something that is five to ten years old. This is something that happens now with eBooks. If a correction needs to be made; you receive a notification and then an update is performed.

One other key point I didn’t mention was that now kids will only need to carry an iPad instead of three to four heavy books. My daughter is in the fifth grade and she carries at least five to eight pounds of books in her backpack. With textbooks on an iPad she would no longer need to haul around that extra weight.

What do you think Apple will announce?  An update to iTunes U? Textbooks for the iPad?  Let us know what you thinks Apple will be announcing in the comments below.



  • waynedixon

    I think it will be textbooks on the iPad, but also bringing iBooks (which is how you will RENT the textbooks) to Mac and Windows. Just a hunch, but It would definitely bring some competition to Barnes and Noble’s textbook rental service.

    • glagana

      @waynedixon That would be a definite plus to have iBooks on Mac and Windows. You’ll have the best of both worlds, texts books on your computer or your iPad.

    • @waynedixon looks like you nailed it Wayne

  • It would be easier to make textbooks available to colleges and universities than to school age kids. From a distribution perspective, it’s easier to get college students to purchase iPads than to have a school district procure iPads to students (dealing with budgeting issues and care of the iPad).

    • glagana

      @Joe Lagana That’s a good point, but several school districts have adopted iPads into their curriculums. Hopefully school districts could see the long term cost benefits.

      • @glagana Interesting, I wonder how they do it. Do they work with high schools? Or from K – 12?

        • glagana

          @Joe Lagana I’ve read a few articles where Junior High and High School’s have adopted iPads. I’m not quite sure how many Elementary Schools have though.

  • jaklaassen

    Technology in schools has never really added up to me. I can understand how it could keep student engaged, but I just don’t know if the learning is there…

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