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Apple Planning iTextbook Push to Improve iPad Adoption in K-12 Schools

Apple Planning iTextbook Push to Improve iPad Adoption in K-12 Schools

Additional information just keeps flowing in regarding Apple’s education media event tomorrow in New York. The latest report comes from Bloomberg, who claims that Apple’s new publishing tools will be focused on textbooks and educational materials for the K-12 market.

The report goes on to state that Apple will announce a set of tools to simplify the process of publishing interactive textbooks and educational materials, disrupting the textbook industry with cheaper digital alternatives.

At an event in New York tomorrow, Apple will announce a set of tools that make it easier to publish interactive textbooks and other digital educational content, said two people with knowledge of the announcement, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The plans, to be unveiled by Apple Internet software chief Eddy Cue, are aimed at broadening the educational materials available for the iPad, especially for students in kindergarten to 12th grade, the people said. By setting its sights on the $10 billion-a-year textbook industry, Apple is using the tablet to encourage students to shun costly tomes that weigh down backpacks in favor of less-expensive, interactive digital books that can be updated anywhere via the Web.

Bloomberg continues, suggesting that Apple will roll out support for a new ePub standard for electronic books, as well as a set of tools designed to make it easy for publishers and individuals alike to make their content available on the iPad.

Apple’s new software is designed for a broad range of authors to be able to publish the content in a digital format, similar to what Amazon.com Inc. does with its direct publishing tools, said the people. Large publishers will be able to create digital versions of textbooks, with embedded graphics and video.

Apple also wants to empower “self-publishers” to create new kinds of teaching tools, said the people. Teachers could use it to design materials for that week’s lesson. Scientists, historians and other authors could publish professional-looking content without a deal with a publisher.

It’s pretty exciting stuff to think about, and the textbook industry certainly is in need of some disruption to break up their pricing stranglehold on students and educational institutions. With any like, Apple will be able to push educational materials into new territory, all the while making such materials more accesible for everyone.

The event will begin tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific, with Eddy Cue and Roger Rosner expected to be the main leaders during the presentation. We’ll be sure to bring you any exciting news from the event as soon as it becomes available to us.

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