Although Apple has focused on the education sector for decades, the Cupertino-based company is looking to expand further into the classroom by utilizing its iOS ecosystem. According to Bloomberg, Apple has been selling thousands of iPads to grade schools since the tablet debuted nearly two years ago.

Now, the company wants to make these iPad purchases worthwhile, while promoting future sales, by adding educational content that can be utilized by teachers and students. Ultimately, Apple believes it can revolutionize the classroom. And with an education event scheduled to take place in New York tomorrow, it’s the perfect timing…

Apple is expected to combine its digital platform with the textbook industry, an idea originally conceived by the company’s late co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had focused on the textbook business before his death in October. He told biographer Walter Isaacson that the industry was ripe for a digital disruption because of the interactive capabilities made possible by the iPad. Jobs had held meetings with publishers, including Pearson Education Inc., about teaming up with Apple, according to Issacson’s book, “Steve Jobs,” published last year. Jobs wanted to create electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad.

Electronic textbooks, which will likely be in a modified ePub format, are expected to work with iOS features such as annotating, highlighting, and defining words. We’ll know all this and more soon, as Apple’s education press conference kicks off tomorrow at 10:00 AM Eastern (7:00 AM Pacific) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

[Bloomberg]

  • Dan

    I love the idea, but what has always been an obstacle to me is that it’s not easy to make notes on tablets/kindle.

    I love e-reading when it comes to leisure, but for school and work, I prefer paper.

    • I’m right there with you. I can’t read more than a couple emails or an article in the iPad. Reading a book is just too painful.

      • Dan

        You should try the kindle though, it’s a completely different experience. I can read for hours just like I would with a normal book. I’ve been using mine for about a year and it’s great.

        I use my iPad for magazines, games, surfing, fooling around at work (like now).

  • Anonymous

    Think of how innovative this is. No more going to a computer to look up videos for a biology class, cell replication for example. This will revolutionze the way people learn and if widely adopted by schools and universities, and supported well by textbook makers the ipad will be an even more amazing product.

  • Anonymous

    Its too bad that their student discounts are horrible. Only $29 off for a Mac Mini that is $600. Barely covers the tax, if at all 🙁

  • Im a Sophmore in High-school right now and all of the Freshmen already got em. But they have told me all they do when they are supposed to take notes in surf the internet. IMO its point less its more of a distraction then a helper.

  • Connor Frye

    They are going to have to restrict the ipads, some kids cant help getting off task

  • Great, almost unavoidable development. Thanks Steve!! Big risk if it becomes the most important media. I love this electronic jazz but if the battery goes flat, or somebody bombs the Cloud memory store, the network goes down or you need to support your material with drawings or sketches then it can be disasterous, So we must always teach them also to use good old pen and ink notes which only they keep somewhere safe as well.

  • Anonymous

    Test.

  • Yeah let’s ruin the already indebted state(s) (and/or countries) by having them purchase overpriced products whilst alternatives with the same advantages for learning could be bought for a tenth of the price. All of this at the same time as tying kids to a monopolistic company that will push them to buy nothing but its overpriced and closed products. Add to this the credits these kids will have to take to finish their education and we’ll have another generation of perfectly chained slaves.