Apple would rather your children carry around an iPad than a bunch of textbooks. The company is holding an event in New York City tonight where it will reportedly unveil a new slate of tools that make publishing interactive digital textbooks a seamless and intuitive process.
That is to say, Apple is hoping to get some of the biggest players in textbook publishing, historically a very rigid bunch, to come on board and create tailored iPad-optimized versions of their learning material for kids.
Of course, there have been studies about how students react to using an e-reader compared to normal textbooks, and the winner is always traditional books.
It's much different than replacing a novel or some other sort of passive book with a digital version. Textbooks are meant to be flipped through, jumped around, and in college even written in (not so much in grade school).
Also, there remains a huge issue of how many students, especially young ones, have access to their own iPad. This is something that only a select privileged segment of the population will be able to take advantage of.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting initiative. More details will be announced when this program is officially unveiled tonight.