Apple Will Announce Their Plans To Revolutionize University Classrooms Later This Month [Rumor]

Apple Will Announce Their Plans To Revolutionize University Classrooms Later This Month [Rumor]

You know that media event Apple plans on throwing later this month in New York City, featuring Senior VP Eddy Cue? Well, more details have leaked out, and it appears we were right: Apple’s preparing to revolutionize textbooks.

Over at his blog, Clayton Morris reports:

Here is what I know from sources involved:

• This event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in education
• I learned of the event back in September when it was originally scheduled for late Fall in New York but it was eventually postponed.
• The event will be in New York rather than in the Silicon Valley because New York is more centrally located for textbook and publishing.
• This initiative has been in the making for years.
• The announcement will be small in size but large in scope: a big announcement in a demure space.
• I expect at least two large project announcements as they relate to Apple in education.
• Steve Jobs was intinimately involved with this project before his passing. He gave a hat tip to the textbook side of this project in the Isaacson biography.
This will not be a hardware-related announcement.

The hat tip Isaacson gave in his biography was that Steve Jobs wants to hire great textbook writers to create original digital textbooks, and make them an exclusive feature of the iPad. If this is indeed what Apple has planned, it looks like they plan on making a major push to make the iPad ubiquitous in higher education classrooms. Very exciting.

[via Macrumors]

  • tiresius

    “Event” is a verb?  To borrow a phrase from Johnny Carson, “I DID NOT know that!”

    Also, the only mention of post-secondary education to be found in this posting is in the Headline (university) and then in Brownlee’s closing “…ubiquitous in higher education classrooms.”
    Nowhere in the sourced rumor does it state that this event or Apple’s textbook initiative will be limited to higher education, which is a much smaller market than K-12. Does Brownlee know something he omitted from the story, or is he making unfounded assumptions?

  • tiresius

    “Event” is a verb?  To borrow a phrase from Johnny Carson, “I DID NOT know that!”

    Also, the only mention of post-secondary education to be found in this posting is in the Headline (university) and then in Brownlee’s closing “…ubiquitous in higher education classrooms.”
    Nowhere in the sourced rumor does it state that this event or Apple’s textbook initiative will be limited to higher education, which is a much smaller market than K-12. Does Brownlee know something he omitted from the story, or is he making unfounded assumptions?

  • Whodakat

    They will event their plans, huh?  Editors day off?

  • willsmorgan

    Interesting. In Steve Jobs’ book there were hints that Apple would be trying to sign up education publishers to iTunes. I wonder if this is what it is – I do hope so, Apple is the only organisation I can see that would do a good job of this.

  • Srose428

    Man I graduated too early.  Most books can already be had as PDF’s but true native iPad textbooks would be nothing short of a publishing revolution.  This might finally break the monopoly that text book publisher/re-sellers have on the market.  

  • Srose428

    Right but many K-12 schools provide their own books so the need to persuade publishers will not be necessary, rather convince the principle and make the publisher provide to the school district the appropriate digital material.  My logic on that…

  • GeoSkool

    Good luck getting students to read anything more than Facebook and Twitter in ADHD nation. Content can’t exceed 140 characters. iPads in the classroom will turn education into edutainment (ad-supported of course). Teachers can’t compete with things that are shiny. Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…

  • willsmorgan

    I think you are looking at this wrongly. If people in education are using a device they like that they can engage in they will learn a lot more than just reading from a normal book.
    Put it this way, I am in education and interactive elements are way better for learning than sitting in a lecture for 2 hours at a time.

  • techgeek01

    Education depends on the teacher/professor. Personally, I hated history, especially pre 1900’s.  But I took a class from a professor, and ended up loving the class deeply.  He made the complete difference.  There was absolutely no tech involved.  Well, if you added up the time tech was involved in this semester long class, it would have added up to no more than 5 minutes.  It was chalkboard and ratty old books.

    You can have all the shiny gizmos in the world, and the class could be horrible.  You could have crap, and the class can be amazing.

    It’s worth mentioning that a lot of resources are out there for free.  You don’t need to spend $200+ for a textbook.  I had multiple college classes that we had no textbook.  All we need was compiled a bunch of free handouts and such from the internet.

    Maybe it’s time to get rid of textbooks and go to a thing where you get all your stuff of the internet for free.  There are PLENTY of great, reliable resources on the internet.  Plus, It will save us a shitload of money.  It’s $500 for an iPad (bare minium) and then you’re looking at the textbook costs.  And simply, electronic textbooks are not that much cheaper.  So, you’re looking at shelling at least $500 (easily) per semester still.  And the kicker?  There is no way to SELL those back.  meaning you can’t recover that money.

    But I guess a lot of professors won’t allow that to happen ever because a lot tend to write (or be on the board) for the books that are being used in the classes.  My father was in a class where the Professor DEMANDED that everybody bought this $500 book.  Why?  Because he wrote it.  Simply put nobody got that book. 

  • Marco

    I hate how the textbook industry rips off students. I’m a French professor and I authored a web course (for Intermediate French lit/culture)(with help from the university for technical stuff) with loads of interactive material, downloadable podcasts of all the readings and I made it FREE. Meanwhile, the students pay a fortune for their first-year books and the person that wrote it drives a BMW. I hope Apple isn’t planning on getting in bed with the textbook companies.

  • Luis Sanchez

    Anyone know what app that is on the iPad’s screen.  I’ve been looking for a good app to teach my 7 year old about the solar system.

  • esaruoho

    Hi Luis. The app is called Solar System. I found it by googling for Solar System iPad, and it’s created by TouchPress. 

    I’m not sure if cultofmac allows for iTunes urls, but here:http://itunes.apple.com/fi/app… for providing a link to the finnish appstore, but replace /fi/ accordingly. Maybe your iTunes/AppStore detects which country you’re at, I’m not sure.

    Enjoy!

  • esaruoho

    profmarco wrote: “I hope Apple isn’t planning on getting in bed with the textbook companies.”

    Isn’t this where Apple’s “price aggressively, go for volume” is a win for the student and the professor? :)   Exclusive-to-iPad-textbooks sound like a very promising prospect. Also, the types of patents that have been taken by Apple portray some truly interesting and helpful aspects. Saw one where  if you touch the word “apple”, you see a picture of an apple.  Imagine how easy it will be to learn a new language when you can just map the foreign language word to an image, instead of  going  foreignlanguage->yourlanguage->imageinyourmind. 

    I always found it really painful to watch during English classes when you could see the other students  first translate English into Finnish, then make sense of it. Then they’d want to say something in English, they’d think it out in Finnish, then painstakingly translate each and every word to English – and it’d sound like Finnish-translated-into-English (Finglish). Some still write like that. 

  • Tara

    Even though I still prefer traditional textbooks. I must say that this will definitely shape-up the textbook industry. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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