Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More on Apple's Education Event

Accord to Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Apple's education event is getting seriously over-hyped. In particular he references the numerous headlines proclaiming that Apple is getting ready to "digitally destroy" textbook publishing. He tamps down the excitement very quickly - disappointing if this is the real story. Elmer-Dewitt is usually pretty spot on in his reporting, so get ready to be underwhelmed. While this might improve the e-books we get from publishers, what I was hoping for is a tectonic, structural disruption of the publishing industry and a giant leap forward for self-publishing.

MacInnis also mentioned GarageBand in our interview. But what he was describing was a sample iPad textbook, produced in-house and packed with pedagogical bells and whistles, that would serve as a reference design for textbook publishers, much in the way GarageBand for the iPad showed iOS developers what the new platform could do.

MacInnis does expect Apple to unveil new tools for creating iPad textbooks, along with a new content repository to make e-textbooks easily available to teachers. But the tools are not a "GarageBand for e-books." And according to MacInnis, they're designed to support the textbook industry, not to do an end-run around it.

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