Why Education Publishing Is Big Business - Wired.com
On the heels of Apple’s big education and iBooks event, it’s worth taking a quick snapshot of the education publishing industry as it stands today.
Not because the tools announced today will inevitably transform the future of education the way iTunes and the iPhone did the music and smartphone industries — however fun that may be to imagine.
Rather, you simply can’t understand Apple’s interest in breaking into the education market without at least a little understanding of that market’s scope. And you can’t understand why Apple’s adopted the approach that it has without understanding that market’s connection to our wider media ecosystem.
Update on iBooks 2 from the New York Times:
On Thursday the company released iBooks 2, a free app that will support digital textbooks that can display interactive diagrams, audio and video. At a news conference, the company demonstrated a biology textbook featuring 3-D models, searchable text, photo galleries and flash cards for studying. Apple said high school textbooks from its initial publishing partners, including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, would cost $15 or less.
“Education is deep in our DNA and it has been from the very beginning,” said Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, at the event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Apple also announced a free tool called iBooks Author, a piece of Macintosh software that allows people to make these interactive textbooks. The tool includes templates designed by Apple, which publishers and authors can customize to suit their content. It requires no programming knowledge and will be available Thursday.
The company also unveiled the iTunes U app for the iPad, which allows teachers to build an interactive syllabus for their coursework. Students can load the syllabus in iTunes U and, for example, tap to open an electronic textbook and go directly to the assigned chapter. Teachers can use iTunes U to create full online courses with podcasts, video, documents and books.
Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Ars that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books—the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak—and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.