Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple to Revolutionize Textbooks?

I have been saying to friends and family for a couple of years that it would take a mega company to shake-up the current practices between school districts and publishing companies.  The publishing companies are still running business (for the most part) as if it were 1987.  While they may have the technology and the tools to completely digitize all their content and offer every school district in the country digital textbooks, they simply haven't done it, and they haven't been in a hurry to do it.  Why should they?  They have a cash cow with their current structure, and until someone comes along and moves their cheese, they aren't going to drastically shift their current model. 

Then along comes Apple.  Apple is supposedly poised to make a big splash at the end of this month with an announcement relevant to digital textbooks and education.  (See here.)  It doesn't surprise me that this is Apple's next big splash.  Steve Jobs revolutionized the way we listen to music, the way we utilize cell phones (can we really even call them cell phones anymore?), and the way we communicate / collaborate.  Why shouldn't he be the one to revolutionize the way our schools deliver digital content to students? 

I hope that this next big announcement isn't a false hope and these aren't simply rumors.  The textbook industry needs to be rocked, and I am hoping Apple is the first one to deliver the blow. 


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