Apple's Textbook Initiative to Feature Strong K-12 Focus, Aid Publishers Large and Small

Bits and pieces of Apple's announcement plans for its education-focused media event to be held tomorrow are continuing to flow in, and Bloomberg now weighs in with its sources indicating that the company's new publishing tools will have a strong focus on shaking up the kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) textbook market.

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.

Echoing some of what was covered in an Ars Technica report earlier this week, Bloomberg's sources claim that Apple's announcements will include support for a new ePub standard and tools to make it easier for both large publishers and self-publishers to bring their content to 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.

Apple's media event is scheduled to kick off at 10:00 AM Eastern / 7:00 AM Pacific tomorrow, with Eddy Cue and Roger Rosner expected to play prominent roles in the presentation.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
111 months ago

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.


Yeah, except ebooks usually cost exactly the same as printed books to buy, yet have zero resale value.

Time for greedy publishers to pass some of the savings they make through electronic distribution on to their customers.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
Don't school boards choose text books, and isn't it all based on lobbying and sweetheart deals?

How is Apple going to be able to penetrate this market?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
You guys are missing one aspect of what goes on in the K-12 side of the textbook industry. Only a few states, mainly California and Texas, have large enough markets for publishers to specifically target books towards. They get whatever they want out of their curriculum, and other states are often forced to adapt their curriculums so they are able to make use of the books designed for the large states. Eliminating the need to print millions of copies of a textbook in order to turn a profit will give the other 48 states the freedom to determine their own curriculum. States like Colorado won't have to accept science texts that omit evolution just because some evangelical committee member in Texas was able to throw his weight around and get it eliminated from the curriculum in his state. This is where the revolution is. Finally providing every state, and even individual school districts, the ability to determine what to teach kids in THEIR schools, instead of having non-elected officials in another state ram it down their throats.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
Death to the 40-Pound Backpack!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

Um, this won't be a problem in the long run. For advanced topics, graduate courses, maybe.

But even so. k-12 should all be open source. There is very little standing in the way of this. It would only take minimal organization.

The fact that school systems pay anything for these textbooks is a crime.


That's not a crime. Knowledge isn't free, and writing a good textbook is hard and should be rewarded.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

Yeah, except ebooks usually cost exactly the same as printed books to buy, yet have zero resale value.

Time for greedy publishers to pass some of the savings they make through electronic distribution on to their customers.


Oh. For some reason I thought this had something to do with creating an independent textbook industry, part of Steve Jobs' dream of changing public education or something.

If it's just a way to eliminate backpacks, yawn, I guess.

Isn't the resale value issue more about college text books? What happens to public school text books? I remember them just getting older and older, I used to enjoy looking in the front cover and seeing a log of students who had the book going back to the early 1970s.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Apple Pays Samsung an Estimated $950 Million for Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets

Monday July 13, 2020 10:03 am PDT by
Apple in the second quarter of 2020 paid Samsung approximately $950 million for not meeting OLED panel purchase goals established in agreements between the two companies, according to display analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants. Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...

SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm PDT by
SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry...

Rumor Suggests New Apple App for Windows Could Be Coming Soon

Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:54 am PDT by
Apple could be working towards the release of a new app for Windows 10, according to a report this week from an Italian website. The blog Aggiornamenti Lumia suggests that an app from Apple is "coming soon" to the Microsoft Store, but stops short of providing additional details. Apple still maintains a Windows version of the iTunes app, which has been discontinued on Mac and replaced by...

Deals: Amazon Taking $400 Off 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Starting at New Low Price of $1,999.99 for 512GB

Monday July 13, 2020 5:34 am PDT by
Amazon has introduced a new low price on Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro today, including both 512GB and 1TB models. Starting with the 512GB model (2.6GHz 6-Core, 16GB RAM), you can get this notebook for $1,999.99, down from $2,399.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....