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Apple to introduce authoring tools to “digitally destroy” textbooks on Thursday

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Apple to introduce authoring tools to “digitally destroy” textbooks on Thursday
Apple’s event on January 19th is expected to be all about education, and this latest scoop reveals what exactly is meant by that. Cupertino is allegedly planning to unveil a “GarageBand for e-books,” an authoring tool that will help create truly interactive books and bring them to the iPhone and iPad, Ars Technica found out.

Apple is currently relying mostly on the ePub standard for its iBooks, but to enrich the content it’s also using HTML5 for video and audio parts. Still, many book publishers feel like it’s hard to make digital books, and a relatively simple yet comprehensive app like GarageBand for e-books would be welcome. That’s exactly what Apple is expected to unveil in two days.

It makes sense when you take a look at the massive adoption of iPads in kindergartens, schools, all over the educational system. We don’t expect, though, Apple to get directly into content publishing - it will only provide the tool.

The focus of that new content, some say, will shift to social:

"What we really believe is important is the role of social networking in a converged learning environment," technology-in-education expert Dr. William Rankin said in an interview for Ars Technica. "We're already seeing that in Inkling's platform, and Kno's journaling feature. Future digital texts should allow students to layer all kind of other data, such as pictures, and notes, and then share that with the class or, ideally, anyone."

To add spice to that event, we should also note that Walter Isaacson mentioned in his biography, that Steve Jobs was working on digital textbooks, thinking about it as an $8 billion industry. His involvement with the project could have been bigger than what’s documented, and some sources point out that the results of that work were supposed to be unveiled at the iPhone 4S launch in October 2011, but were delayed. Only two more days until we hear all about it, so stay tuned.

source: Ars Technica

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posted on 17 Jan 2012, 05:34 2

1. Abdul92 (Posts: 43; Member since: 23 Aug 2011)

First. It would just add to the fields that Apple has completed the domination of. If this deal goes through it would be greatly appreciated. If they offer it at a reduced price. Hopefully, they'll offer the option to rent. :)

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 06:44

2. ibap (Posts: 780; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

The title made me think they were introducing a product that would cause textbooks to expire after their use period.

Or that they were going to destroy all digital textbooks on Thursday.

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 09:43 1

3. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Warning: It's Apple we are talking about here. pretty soon you will hear about nobody being able to use ebooks without paying them first. It's the logical progression,and their army of attorneys are probably already lined up in some court. Just saying.

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 10:27

4. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

I can see this being very big on the College level but not much else. Grade schools and public schools in general will never have the cash to get all kids an iPad nor will the parents be willing to pay $500 to $600 for the iPad and still need to buy the books. Most of them can't even pay teachers are keep certain subjects due to funding. Also the amount of stolen iPads will go through the roof not to mentions kids are clumsy as hell and will be dropping and breaking them all day long. I see Apple trying to work deals with as many private schools around the country to get them on board.

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 19:54

5. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

A single textbook can cost over $200. Up front it might be expensive, but in the long run you might actually save money

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