Major textbook publishers Houghton Mifflin, Kaplan Publishing, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson are turning
to software company ScrollMotion Inc. to bring their textbooks to Apple's newly unveiled iPad.
ScrollMotion plans to take full advantage of the iPad's touch capabilities in order to provide an immersive and interactive experience that combines traditional educational materials with the latest technology.
Not only will students be able to color-categorize while highlighting words on the page, but they will also be able to write text notes or record audio notes directly onto the device. Further, the third-party developer will likely be implementing videos and interactive practice quizzes into the applications.
Probably the most useful tool will seem the most basic: the ability to search the text. I can't remember the number of times I've wished that I could search my own physical textbooks for some key phrase.
With all these features combined into one device, the iPad could potentially revolutionize education.
"People have been talking about the impact of technology on education for 25 years. It feels like it is really going to happen in 2010," said Rik Kranenburg, group president of higher education for the education unit of McGraw-Hill, one of the major publishers working with the iPad.
According to market research firm Compass Intelligence, technology spending in the educational sector could jump to $61.9 billion in 2013 from $47.6 billion in 2008.
Though a recent Kaplan study found that students by and large prefer printed texts, the ease of use and portability of something like the iPad could change that.