Apple has a media event planned for tomorrow in New York where it’s rumoured to be announcing plans to disrupt the textbook industry that now “serves” the kindergarten to grade 12 education system.
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.
Whatever Apple announces tomorrow, you can expect a lot of people1 to respond that Apple is only in it to sell more iPads and laptops.
Which is true. Apple is a publicly traded company that is built around the idea of turning a profit.
But now the textbook industry is a $10 billion-a-year industry that is clinging to the old way of doing things because they don’t want to try to change – for fear of losing their $10 billion-a-year cash cow.
Just like the music industry before, sometimes it takes an outsider like Apple to come in and force a change. It’s not like the education industry hasn’t had lots of time to try to figure out the digital world. They’re just too tied in to and corrupted by the publishing industry to be able to see past the dollar signs2.