Apple's January Media Event to Involve Digital Textbooks and Education?

MacRumors

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Yesterday, AllThingsD reported that Apple is planning a late January media event in New York City that appeared to have something to do with Apple's publishing or advertising efforts rather than any hardware announcements. TechCrunch weighed in a few hours later with word that the event is indeed focused on publishing and the iBookstore.

At the time of our report on that information, we suggested that digital textbooks could be a possibility for the event given that Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson has indicated several times that one of Jobs' last goals had been to revolutionize textbooks. According to Isaacson:
His idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad. In addition, he held meetings with major publishers, such as Pearson Education, about partnering with Apple.
Adding to the speculation about textbooks perhaps playing a role in the upcoming announcement is information we've received from a source indicating that Apple last month filmed a series of short interviews with textbook industry executives. The interviews are said to have been of the type that would be used in one of Apple's promotional overview videos for a new product or service.

Our source cautions us that there is no direct evidence tying the interviews to the upcoming media event and that Apple frequently films promotional video segments and commercials that never see the light of the day, but the timing of the filming seems to be in line with possible preparations for the media event.




Even more fuel for the idea that the event may carry an education focus comes from a new blog post from Clayton Morris of Fox News, who claims that the event will focus on iTunes U and perhaps textbooks.
Here is what I know from sources involved:

- This event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in education
- I learned of the event back in September when it was originally scheduled for late Fall in New York but it was eventually postponed.
- The event will be in New York rather than in the Silicon Valley because New York is more centrally located for textbook and publishing.
- This initiative has been in the making for years.
- The announcement will be small in size but large in scope: a big announcement in a demure space.
- I expect at least two large project announcements as they relate to Apple in education.
- Steve Jobs was intinimately [sic] involved with this project before his passing. He gave a hat tip to the textbook side of this project in the Isaacson biography.
- This will not be a hardware-related announcement.
Morris has a bit of a mixed track record, having weighed in just ahead of Apple's original iPad introduction in January 2010 to correctly predict the device's appearance (an easy guess) but miss with his predictions of discussion relating to iOS 4 and an update to iLife.

At the time of the iPad's debut in early 2010, Apple was said to have struck deals with textbook publishers to bring their content to the iPad, but Apple has so far been rather quiet on the topic of textbooks on the iPad and offerings have so far been limited.

Update: 9to5Mac also indicates that the iTunes team in on "lockdown mode" heading into the media event, suggesting that the announcement is indeed related to content of some sort.

Update 2: Ars Technica adds its voice to the rumors surrounding digital textbooks:
And based on information from our own sources, we believe the announcement could likely involve support for the EPUB 3 standard, which enables a wider variety of multimedia and interaction features. [...]

Incidentally, one source who has worked with Apple to integrate technology in education recently suggested that Apple may have important changes coming to its iBooks platform directed specifically toward the academic set. Digital textbooks represent another nascent market that Apple could potentially upend as it did with music and mobile apps.
Article Link: Apple's January Media Event to Involve Digital Textbooks and Education?
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
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Yardley, PA
Do we need an entire event for this? I guess if it's going to re-educate (no pun intended) us on how we think of these textbooks appearing on the bookstore, or even introduce a new textbook-store, it could be interesting. Other than that, I can't bring myself to want to tune in to a liveblog about textbooks.

Judging by the 12+ downranks on my comment though, most of you guys are super pumped about it. :rolleyes:

I think I'm more excited for an update on sales numbers.
 
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wrinkster22

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2011
2,623
6
Toronto
Do we need an event for this? I guess if it's going to re-educate (no pun intended) us on how we think of these books appearing on the bookstore, or even introduce a new bookstore, it could be interesting.
Its not We, its apple. When your CEO of one of the largest companies in the world we will talk
 

thenerdal

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2011
1,051
0
This is stupid. Digital Textbooks are only good with E-ink displays, otherwise you're gonna cause eye strain.
 

HishamAkhtar

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2011
510
1
iTunes University has a nice ring to it...

Also I'm surprised Steve Jobs' biography wasn't blocked from publication considering how much currently relevant material it had in it. Surely Apple's competitors read the book and had multiple "aha!" moments!
 

PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0
This is stupid. Digital Textbooks are only good with E-ink displays, otherwise you're gonna cause eye strain.
Interactive learning can be a very effective learning tool. List some data and a user/reader might remember it.

Let them interact with some data, and they can understand it on a more meaningful level.
 

ABernardoJr

macrumors 6502
Dec 19, 2006
364
0
This is stupid. Digital Textbooks are only good with E-ink displays, otherwise you're gonna cause eye strain.
It isn't like reading off an iPad or a computer screen for an extended period of time is anything new. And these digital textbooks would arguably do a lot in the way of lightening the load for college students to worry about carrying/selling later. I think it's something that can really change things for the better, even without e-ink.
 

thenerdal

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2011
1,051
0
Interactive learning can be a very effective learning tool. List some data and a user/reader might remember it.

Let them interact with some data, and they can understand it on a more meaningful level.
I agree, but it's better to use an E-ink display since it'll be like reading a book. This e-textbook will not be successful.
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
6,962
4,071
Where's the iPad 3 and iOS 5.1? smh. You don't need a media event for this!
 

slrandall

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2011
412
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It isn't like reading off an iPad or a computer screen for an extended period of time is anything new. And these digital textbooks would arguably do a lot in the way of lightening the load for college students to worry about carrying/selling later. I think it's something that can really change things for the better, even without e-ink.
Carrying books isn't hard; you almost never carry more than one or two at a time. But unless Apple can drive prices down below $70 for even the most expensive books, it'll still be cheaper to buy the books and sell them back.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
123
Mpls, MN
This is stupid. Digital Textbooks are only good with E-ink displays, otherwise you're gonna cause eye strain.
Are you some form of doctor? At least then your incorrect opinion would seem partly valid.


This would be a great announcement if true. Esp if it is broad. Most e-textbooks are aimed at college age, I believe. I want to see it for secondary school.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,291
14
iTunes university is amazing. Hopefully more people will know about this free itunes service.
 

thenerdal

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2011
1,051
0
Are you some form of doctor? At least then your incorrect opinion would seem partly valid.


This would be a great announcement if true. Esp if it is broad. Most e-textbooks are aimed at college age, I believe. I want to see it for secondary school.
I'm just saying a Kindle is better for a textbook than an iPad.
 

irDigital0l

Guest
Dec 7, 2010
2,901
0
This could be sweet...

I hate carrying 3 textbook everyday and stuff, not having a classroom set, blah blah blah.

If I could use textbook on my iPad that would be awesome.
 

GoreVidal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2011
597
0
Are you some form of doctor? At least then your incorrect opinion would seem partly valid.


This would be a great announcement if true. Esp if it is broad. Most e-textbooks are aimed at college age, I believe. I want to see it for secondary school.
An opinion is never incorrect, merely a fool's interpretation of fact.
 

andy721

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2007
591
0
FL
That TV prototype, wannabe, whatever it is, needs to be changed. It looks quite old-n-bulky. I hope that's not the :apple:Apple TV. If it is a close clone of the upcoming :apple:Apple TV, this excuse of a TV needs to be tweaked. Take n:rolleyes:tes :apple:Apple-- The almost bezeled free 55" LG OLED TV for example.

Now make it happen! So don't forget, because if you copy it's finally here in the future product, you'll get sued..., but you're good at that game, well, more or less. So you'll do fine... Maybe. ;)
 

PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0
I agree, but it's better to use an E-ink display since it'll be like reading a book. This e-textbook will not be successful.
Ah, so what if it's not like reading a book? Apple is going to have to do something to make people want to look at an ipad screen, and static text and pictures are not a compelling reason to use the iPad over an e-reader or traditional book.
 

carmenodie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2008
775
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

And man has been reading with the aid of that big a** fire ball for centuries and nothing has happened yet. Stop trolling BS!
 

SPUY767

macrumors 68020
Jun 22, 2003
2,025
112
GA
This is stupid. Digital Textbooks are only good with E-ink displays, otherwise you're gonna cause eye strain.
That, reading in the dark, reading small text. . . all of those have been proven to not really cause any harm to the eyes.
 

andy721

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2007
591
0
FL
An opinion is never incorrect, merely a fool's interpretation of fact.
Oh we got another person using the old comment isn't valid deal. Cut the cliche and think up something on your own because asking someone you don't know isn't a doctor could lead to false accusations and highly acclaimed boulderdash assumptions. +1