Everyone one knows that Steve Jobs had several industries that he wanted to revamp and change for the better. Education was one of those industries. Apple made huge headway into fulfilling Steve Jobs’ dream on 19 January with the introduction of iBooks 2.0, Ibooks Author, iTunes U and of course, the text books section of the iTunes Book Store.
Now it appears, that the US government is also getting on the band wagon with some announcements of their own. The Obama administration is now pushing their own vision of the dream of changing education with a five year plan to change all current textbooks to digital form. The call to arms for the schools came from the Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, and also from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski yesterday.
Many states have already adopted this path through standard laptop based book systems but the idea of putting an iPad in the students hands must be looking even more enticing now that the tools are there to create materials which can be used immediately within the classroom, without running a copier or mimeograph machine and even updating the materials while the students are at their own homes.
The Obama administration has released a 67 page outline specifying its ideas about how to proceed and how the administration wants this idea rolled out. With the text book industry rolling over $8 billion USD per year, this could be a major coup for Apple since they really are the only ones ready to take on this challenge with viable equipment, software and tools.