In a rather odd Press Conference in January, Apple brought in the international media to the Guggenheim Museum in New York to announce that they were going to 'reinvent textbooks.' Although an interesting thought, the actual content seemed to me to be rather naive, the textbook industry - and especially the process of textbook adoption at the K-12 level particularly - is very complex and often very political....think of all the ongoing problems with evolution versus creationism? Also the announcement seems premature since there was little to announce - other than Apple would love everyone to get an iPad (and imagine how long these would last in K-12 settings!), though all school systems are cash-strapped today and government data shows that one in five children live in poverty in the U.S. Apple has a long way to go to prove their concept here.
I was able to talk with some very smart people about all of this for a news blog for Information Today's NewsBreaks. Outsell's Kate Worlock was one: "I think that the announcement does more to reinvent business models and practices than it does to reinvent textbooks. The new iBook 2 textbooks, while impressive, aren't terribly different to something you'd see from Inkling or in Nature Education's new Principles of Biology. Of course, iBooks 2 focuses more on K-12, so it's new for that market, but not revolutionary."
What do you think? Am I wrong or missing something here?