Apple's education event will focus on textbooks for K-12 students - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Apple on Thursday plans to push for broader educational materials on the iPad with a specific focus on students in grades kindergarten through 12, according to a new report.



Just a day ahead of Apple's scheduled event in New York City, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Apple Internet software chief Eddy Cue will unveil the K-12 focused software at the scheduled media event. It noted that the textbook industry is a $10 billion-per-year market where Apple plans to use its iPad "to shun costly tomes that weigh down backpacks in favor of less-expensive, interactive digital books that can be updated everywhere via the Web."



Citing anonymous sources familiar with Apple's plans, the report said that Apple plans to "announce a set of tools that make it easier to publish interactive books and other digital educational content." That's similar to one report from earlier this week which claimed that Apple will unveil a tool that is like "Garageband for e-books," though a later report contradicted that and said the event would focus on e-book distribution, not publication tools.



Bloomberg's sources, however, suggest that Apple will indeed unveil new software that aims to make it easier for publishers to make their titles digital and interactive. It said Apple's tools will allow a broad range of authors to publish their content digitally, while large publishers will be able to embed graphics and videos with their textbooks.



"Apple also wants to empower 'self-publishers' to create new kinds of teaching tools, said the people," authors Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano wrote. "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."











Earlier reports characterized Apple's plans for Thursday as "publishing industry-oriented" news. Major consumer-related announcements, including new hardware like the anticipated third-generation iPad, are not expected at Thursday's event.



Apple sent out invitations for its event last week, revealing that it had planned an "education announcement in the Big Apple." AppleInsider will have full live coverage of the briefing when it kicks off at 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    K-12 is how old?



    Don't say something like "duh, 12, obviously", because it's not obvious and Wikipedia is down.



    P.S. Appleinsider should stop reporting until something sticks.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    K-12 is how old?



    Don't say something like "duh, 12, obviously", because it's not obvious and Wikipedia is down.



    P.S. Appleinsider should stop reporting until something sticks.



    1) In the US kindergarten typically starts at 5yo, with 1st grade being 6yo and so on. So 12, or 12th grade typically means student graduate around 17 to 18yo.



    2) Wikipedia is down, expect for one page, but you can also use cached pages in Google to find anything you want in Wikipedia today. "Work smater, not harder." Scrooge McDuck



    3) The only way something is sticking is if it's made official by Apple, which then makes this being AppleInsider a pointless site if they don't report on rumours and speculation.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    If this is true then it follows that Apple must either



    1. extend their education discounts to K-12 students and include the iPad

    2. Extend the discount but only the one for the iPad

    3. Give a discount but only via schools placing bulk orders either to loan to students or resell at cost to the students

    4. Drop the starting price of the iPad

    5. Keep the base iPad 2 at a reduced cost perhaps only as an education online item (a la the MacBook)



    Otherwise schools will remain loathe to invest in the hardware due to costs, especially if the students are going to have to buy the devices themselves.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    If this is true then it follows that Apple must either



    1. extend their education discounts to K-12 students and include the iPad

    2. Extend the discount but only the one for the iPad

    3. Give a discount but only via schools placing bulk orders either to loan to students or resell at cost to the students

    4. Drop the starting price of the iPad

    5. Keep the base iPad 2 at a reduced cost perhaps only as an education online item (a la the MacBook)



    Why does ANY of this have to happen? People are already buying iPads on their own. They'll just buy MORE on their own if Apple revolutionizes school.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    If this is true then it follows that Apple must either



    Otherwise schools will remain loathe to invest in the hardware due to costs, especially if the students are going to have to buy the devices themselves.



    The cost of paper books needs to be factored in against the cost of iPads.



    Sounds like a fine idea, unless the schools still cannot afford to provide physical ed. and the arts.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    I hoping they still have something for the college level people like myself. I'm halfway done and this book industry is killing us with their ridiculous prices.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    K-12 is how old?



    K-12 isn't a single grade/age. It is a range, Kindergarden through 12th grade. Our school classes are usually organized as kindergarden, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, etc all the way up to 12th grade. Most students take each grade once over the course of a year (unless they repeat the same grade again because they fail or the parents decide they are not ready to move on, or in rare cases of gifted students they may finish a grade early and move on quickly).



    Kindergarden through 5th or 6th grade is usually called grade shcool. 6th or 7th through 8th is called middle school or junior high, and 9th through 12th grade is high school. After graduating from high school students are then eligible to go on to junior college or college.



    So it sounds like they are saying this is more geared toward grade/middle/high school where the schools typically give a student a book for each of their courses and the student then returns the book at the end of the class so it can be re-used for the following class. Fines are collected from students that damage the books more than regular wear and tear. In this case a school could theoretically give each student an ipad with whatever books they need on it, and then collect the ipad at the end of the year. If you damage the ipad you have to pay for the damages. Or maybe the students have to supply their own ipads, but they school can loan out so many copies of each textbook in e-book form each year, and then take them back at the end of the year. No more wear and tear on the books, and it's much simpler to upgrade an e-book to a new edition when it's released instead of buying all new textbooks (assuming the publishers will just release free or discounted updates instead of charging for a whole new book).



    It sounds like they are avoiding the college textbook situation at this time where most students are forced to buy their own books. Many students buy used books, or sell their used books after they complete the course. This may be a more difficult market to get into because how do you sell a e-book to someone else?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zuriel View Post


    I hoping they still have something for the college level people like myself. I'm halfway done and this book industry is killing us with their ridiculous prices.



    Here's a few hints I learned as I went through college. Buy used if at all possible, even if it is an older version it might be close enough to the same to get by, you might just have to photocopy or borrow a classmates newer version if the questions/problems assigned as homework are different. Sell your old books after the class if over if you don't think you will need them again for other courses/later on in your career. Even then you may be better off selling them and just buying a new copy later on if you need it for your job, you will most likely have more disposable income at that time and can afford it. Don't buy books until after you have started taking a course and find out you will really need it. I had some courses that said I needed books that we only ended up using for a chapter or two, I was able to just borrow/photocopy other's books in order to get through those chapters.



    Hope that helps.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post


    The cost of paper books needs to be factored in against the cost of iPads.



    Sounds like a fine idea, unless the schools still cannot afford to provide physical ed. and the arts.



    There are also questions of how often are the school textbooks redone? I know when I was in middle school, they used the same history books for about 5 years running. I'm sure the math to figure out if it will be a better value to do the iPad way instead of physical books will be something like



    [Cost of iPad + cost of all books + replacement units (10-30% yearly?)] / lifespan of physical books



    This does leave several questions tho, including how much of a discount will happen for the digital books vs physical? I'm also curious about if the price is higher than physical books, but the schools do it anyway, where will the money come from. I definitely agree it would be bad to cut programs like art and music from schools. My wife actually said no to one of the schools we looked at for our daughter when she started kindergarten in the 2010-11 school year b/c they had just shrunk their art and music departments into a single Humanities class, which is likely just a step closer to removed entirely.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    I went to Grinnell College, where Steve Jobs was a trustee for a few years in the early '80's. The alumni magazine recently published some anecdotes about Jobs's activities there. Apparently he joined the library committee and told everyone, "Don't waste your money on a new library. Books are going to be obsolete." Sounds like he was 30-40 years early on that one!



    (He was also on the finance committee, where he advocated for investing the college's endowment in gold. Fortunately this was overruled by the committee chairman, Warren Buffet.)
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Although this is being called an "education" event, if Apple releases publishing tools that make self-publishing a reality, that will be a major disruption to the publishing industry at large.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    There are also questions of how often are the school textbooks redone? I know when I was in middle school, they used the same history books for about 5 years running. I'm sure the math to figure out if it will be a better value to do the iPad way instead of physical books will be something like



    [Cost of iPad + cost of all books + replacement units (10-30% yearly?)] / lifespan of physical books



    This does leave several questions tho, including how much of a discount will happen for the digital books vs physical? I'm also curious about if the price is higher than physical books, but the schools do it anyway, where will the money come from. I definitely agree it would be bad to cut programs like art and music from schools. My wife actually said no to one of the schools we looked at for our daughter when she started kindergarten in the 2010-11 school year b/c they had just shrunk their art and music departments into a single Humanities class, which is likely just a step closer to removed entirely.



    I'm coming from a Canadian perspective, but out here there is a "digital push" and they've been buying crappy netbooks for classes anyway. So previous computer/digital product purchasing should be factored in (they also bought a ton of flip cameras for the students to use in various art/tech classes)



    Also where we're from they are sort of expanding art/music (though they've lumped dance, music, art, and drama into one "Arts Ed" curriculum) - Perhaps oddly this seems to be where the greatest use of digital media is occurring, though I can see an interactive Shakespeare Text for a grade 12 that includes cilps of Olivier doing Hamlet, then Brannaugh (sp?) as well, etc., and its exciting to think about
  • Reply 12 of 54
    My daughter is a freshman at a high school in the Seattle area.



    Half of her classes use reading materials that are online.



    Come to think of it, I wonder if all kids have internet access at home. There is accessibility at school, though.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    Let me guess: iBooks will remain iOS only.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Currently, certain major states with right-wing leanings have undue influence on the content of textbooks (e.g., the treatment of evolution) because it costs too much to create a special print edition for them and publishers are unwilling to give up that part of the market. As a result, students everywhere are forced to use inferior textbooks. With the transition of textbooks to the iPad, however, it becomes feasible to create more than one edition: a doctrinaire edition for communities that demand that (if the publishers are willing to make that compromise for the money) and an uncensored edition for everyone else. The potential benefits to the educational system are huge.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    Let me guess: iBooks will remain iOS only.



    Ultimately, that is the problem. While the Apple platforms are good. They aren't good enough for everyone.
  • Reply 16 of 54
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nw3227 View Post


    Currently, certain major states with right-wing leanings have undue influence on the content of textbooks (e.g., the treatment of evolution) because it costs too much to create a special print edition for them and publishers are unwilling to give up that part of the market. As a result, students everywhere are forced to use inferior textbooks. With the transition of textbooks to the iPad, however, it becomes feasible to create more than one edition: a doctrinaire edition for communities that demand that (if the publishers are willing to make that compromise for the money) and an uncensored edition for everyone else. The potential benefits to the educational system are huge.



    Yes, not dumbing the nation down to Texas's level is extremely important
  • Reply 17 of 54
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post


    The cost of paper books needs to be factored in against the cost of iPads.



    Sounds like a fine idea, unless the schools still cannot afford to provide physical ed. and the arts.



    To me the sticking point will be 'ubiquity'.

    Unless you can find a way for EVERY student in a class or school to have access to an iPad, you've developed a 2-tier system and have economized on nothing. That kind of set-up gets you a cute 'pilot program', but nothing more.

    To work, Apple has to see to it that every student has access to an inexpensive or subsidized device.



    Perhaps they release a dirt cheap 8 GB iPad 2 along with the iPad 3?

    It wouldn't cut into serious sales, and would be perfectly adequate for the purpose.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    $199 ipad 2 once the 3 comes out. even the ipad 2 is overkill for text books



    at the same time they can release software to enable note taking and homework for the ipad so that instead of parents spending ridiculous amounts of money on notebooks, paper, and pens they will just buy the ipad
  • Reply 19 of 54
    Really looking forward to that. Cheaper university textbook on an iPad would really be very very awesome.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    $199 ipad 2 once the 3 comes out. even the ipad 2 is overkill for text books



    That's insane. $399.
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