The unveiling of the third generation of Apple’s iPad is still, unofficially, weeks away. That isn’t stopping the company from taking a crack at the way tablets and other mobile devices could change the way people learn. Tomorrow, Apple is expected to reveal its latest plans in the education space at an official press conference in New York City.
Exactly what they’ll unveil tomorrow isn’t yet known, but some hints and leaks have started to paint the picture. That the event is centered around education is no mystery, as the official press invite wasn’t shy about making that point. As for which area of education is set to be targeted by Apple, all available evidence points to the textbook.
In last year’s biography of Steve Jobs, it was revealed that in addition to television and photography, one industry Jobs was hoping to revolutionize next was textbooks, which he saw as being “ripe for digital destruction.”
Just as Apple has entered the market for digital music and, more recently, consumer-focused e-books, it appears set to put a digital, interactive spin on the textbook. The company’s plans are said to revolve not just around distribution of digital textbooks, but also around their creation. According to Ars Technica, Apple will unveil a platform for producing digital textbooks for iOS, quite possibly in manner simple enough to warrant it being nicknamed the “Garage Band for e-books”. The effort is reportedly headed up by Roger Roser, a VP best known for his work on the iWork productivity suite.
It’s not a terribly surprising direction for Apple to move into, considering its recent forays into e-books and how the iPad is already being used for educational purposes. This is an angle Apple is already using to market the device.
Even outside of schools, one of the biggest takeaways about the tablet revolution in general is that it’s dramatically changing how and when people read. If that’s true among consumers and working professionals, imagine the implications the tablet will have for education. Indeed, some expect that tablets will outnumber desktop computers in schools within a few years.
The confirmed details are few and far between at this point, but rest assured that ReadWriteWeb will bring you latest news and analysis about Apple’s announcement tomorrow morning.