Friday, January 20, 2012

Will School Boards Embrace Apple's New Education Content Plan

The rise of the iPad, and of course the other Tablet clones, continues to grow in strength as more and more content populates its platform. Apple's announcement this week raises the bar with a plan to sell school textbooks online at a cheaper price than hardcover. "With students, school districts and universities snapping up iPads, Apple teamed up with publishers, including McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP), to build interactive schoolbooks so the tablet can replace heavy tomes that have long weighed down backpacks."

Great news for college students that buy their own books; bad news for college bookstores who have enjoyed the revenue stream. Good news for school boards that buy books for their students; bad news for the parents that might be required to buy a iPad for their school aged children. A very expensive purchase depending on how much memory you buy. Good news for Apple who always seems to be the innovator; bad news to the other tablet clones that must race to close their own education deals.

Like any teutonic shift, a digital textbook movement will take some time. Most likely it will first happen at the college level where students already make book purchases. And like a computer, the tablet will become another required device for the college student. For the elementary and middle school student, the timing might take more time. Still having watched my son lug his backpack to and from school and carry in his arms huge notebooks and textbooks, an iPad might be quickly valued as a back saving device!